New maps chart the geography of crime in Minnesota
Republican media personalities and political candidates have often attempted to portray the Twin Cities as a hotbed of crime and lawlessness in the wake of the 2020 George Floyd protests. But new data released last week by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal ApprehensionThese show that rising crime is not just an urban phenomenon. He thinks that like almost everywhere else in the United States, crime is indeed on the rise in Minnesota – both in rural areas and in inner cities. And while the Twin Cities area tends to have much higher crime rates than other areas of the state, the data shows that the geography of crime doesn’t always follow a simple urban/rural divide.
In the seven counties that make up the metro area (Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington, Anoka, Carver, Dakota and Scott), there were approximately 395 violent crimes per 100,000 population in 2021. This represents a 24% increase from the 2020 levels.
Elsewhere in Minnesota, the violent crime rate — murder, rape, aggravated assault and robbery — stood at 193 offenses per 100,000 residents. That’s half the Twin Cities subway fare, but 16% more than in 2020.
In other words, rising crime isn’t just an urban Minnesota problem — it’s a Minnesota problem.
The data also shows wide variation in the rates of specific violent offences. Robberies are about 10 times more common in the metro than in greater Minnesota, for example, while reported rates of rape and sexual assault are nearly identical. The rate of aggravated assault in the metro area is approximately 70% higher than that of greater Minnesota, while homicides are approximately 5 times higher in the metro.
In general, the urban-rural divides on property crime in Minnesota are smaller. Regular thefts, car thefts, burglaries and arson are more common in the metro than in greater Minnesota. Overall, statewide property crime was down slightly in 2021 compared to 2020, auto theft – up 9% in cities and 7% elsewhere – a notable exception .
County-level data paints an equally mixed picture. Hennepin and Ramsey counties lead the state in violent crime, for example. But Mille Lacs, Clay and Mahnomen counties — well outside the metropolitan area — round out the top five. Thousand Lakes and Mahnomen are home to American Indian reservationswho have long struggled with poverty and its associated challenges.
Overall, of the ten counties with the highest violent crime rates in 2021, only two were located within the Twin Cities metro. And one metropolitan county — Carver — boasts the ninth-lowest violent crime rate in the state.
In property crime, Hennepin, Ramsey and Clay counties once again appear in the top 5, joined by Beltrami and St. Louis counties. As with violent crime, the geographic picture is somewhat mixed, with hotspots located well outside the Twin Cities region.
These trends are driven by a complex web of factors. A massive increase in gun purchases during the pandemic has put many more guns into circulation, contributing to the highest national firearm homicide rate in more than a quarter century. Society-wide disruptions due to the pandemic have Fsevered social ties and strained small institutions – churches, community centers, schools and others – that promote peace and cohesion in neighborhoods across the United States And the social unrest following the death of George Floyd in 2020 has in many cases driven a wedge between law enforcement and the people they protect and serve.
However, Minnesota is exceptional in at least one respect: the quality of the data collected by its law enforcement agencies is among the best in the country, with 86% of local law enforcement agencies submitting complete crime data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Some other states, on the other hand, have agency participation rates below 1%.
This data will give Minnesota cops and policymakers a head start in tackling the roots of rising crime, no matter how complicated. “By tracking the data, we hope these efforts will reduce victimization, improve targeted and effective rapid responses, and hold offenders accountable,” Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said. in a report.