Columbia, Mo. (KMIZ)
Violent crime in the state of Missouri increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new FBI crime data. The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program for 2020 shows that aggravated assault contributed to increased crimes in Missouri.
The FBI data explorer is a part of the FBI's broader effort to modernize the reporting of national crime data. Jeff Pitts, public information specialist with Columbia police, said that all data used on this website is accurate and directly pulled from the police department.
According to the FBI, violent crimes are composed of homicide (murder and nonnegligent manslaughter), rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
The FBI says that nearly 300 more police departments turned in crime data in 2020 than in 2019, explaining the drastic change in numbers.
In 2019 Columbia police reported 94 violent crimes in Columbia compared to 442 violent crimes by 2020. In 2019, Jefferson City had 107 violent crime incidents and went down to 89 in 2020.
From the data provided by the FBI data explorer, Columbia had the most significant increase in crimes between 2019 and 2020 in Missouri.
The 2020 report shows robbery incidents were the second-largest increase for violent crimes in Columbia.
The FBI report showed 17,032 violent crimes in Missouri in 2020, an increase of 8,376 violent crimes from 2019.
Bridget Patton, public affairs specialist for the FBI, said that many known factors contribute to crime levels, including population density, youth concentration, and economic conditions.
Patton said that valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each law enforcement jurisdiction.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol crime reporting data shows that there are currently over 16,000 violent crimes in Missouri.