For example, I recently ran across an article in an 1887 issue of the Springfield (Mo.) Express listing the homicides that had occurred in the city during the previous seven years. There were eight murders. Nowadays that many murders might take place in Springfield in a single year. (The average from 2001 to 2010 was seven murders per year.) However, considering that the population of Springfield has increased fifteen or twenty times (from about 10,000 in 1887 to near 200,000 nowadays), the murder rate was actually twice as high in the 1880s as it is now. One might not be able to say the same thing about all violent crime in Springfield, but I doubt that the increase in overall crime has outpaced the increase in population by much, if at all.
An interesting sidelight to the list of murders in Springfield from 1881 to 1887 is that two of them were committed in Nat Kinney's saloon. Nat Kinney, of course, was the man who moved to Taney County about 1883 or 1884 and quickly became leader of the Bald Knobbers. It's little wonder a Taney County man remarked, after the Bald Knobbers began enforcing their own brand of justice, that he did not believe a former Springfield saloonkeeper was a proper arbiter of Taney County morals.