Life long and longterm residents of St. Louis know that by and large St. Louis is a safe city, and very hospitable both to live in and visit. It is known as a great city in which to raise a family.  St. Louis has perhaps undeservedly earned its bronze metal as the 2004 third most dangerous city in America (www.infoplease.com). Statistically, the city ranks among the worst in the U.S. for murder, larceny, rape, and destruction of property. The areas that the ordinary traveller would frequent are--for the most part--docile and well-policed.

The commerical strip of the Central West End, the cosmopolitan, trendy blocks of cafes and artsy restaurants centered around Lindell and Euclid, can be walked on comfortably from the beginning of the business day to the close of the clubs. The Delmar Loop, which is in St. Louis county, though limited in its breadth, is a perfectly safe street to walk on when the shops and restaurants are open. Your biggest safety hazard on Laclede's Riverfront Landing is spraining your ankle between the cobblestones, or being vomited on by an UMSTL student who has had one too many two-dollar jagerbombs. In short, the attractions in this modest city can be enjoyed without fear of assault.

Most neighborhoods in the city where there are restaurants and other attractions (see the Neighborhoods article ) are safe. As is always the case in any large city, one should be attentive after dark or in any  place where there are few people around. However, in many St. Louis city neighborhoods, while the streets are often quiet, this does not indicate lack of safety. Many St. Louisans walk around their neighborhoods after dark with few qualms. In the daytime, there is nothing to fear in areas where tourists are likely to be, such as the Central West End, Grand S. Grand, Soulard, Tower Grove and Shaw neighborhoods, Lafayette Square. Neighborhoods such as Holly Hills and St. Louis Hills are quiet residential areas with lively parks that are used morning til night.

That being said, when one is in some areas there is  the sense that one is on the border of civilization, as within a few blocks neighborhoods can change significantly. This view is not entirely unfounded. Two blocks south of the Delmar Loop (note: that is St. Louis County) is an area primarily populated by college seniors. According to someone who lived there a short time , theft was rampant, bums regularly picked through each dumpster, and a couple incidents of violent assault occurred. This was all on one single block. If you venture further north, some areas are much worse, due to population decrease and lack of political support and economic underdevelopment. The doors must always stay locked. Westward  and south are often considered safer options, although St. Louis county is considered by many to be more boring in terms of night-life and attractions. St. Louis is a nice place to visit. It is an even better place to live.  As long as a traveller assumes the ordinary precautions of any urban environemnt (wallet in the front pocket, avoiding extensive eye-contact with shady characters, being aware of the neighborhood environment), he or she will not encounter any problems.