Despite a recent spasm of violence, criminal activity in Minneapolis has fallen sharply from last year, newly released Police Department statistics show.
Part I crimes, which include both violent and property crimes, fell 16.7 percent in 2018 compared to this time last year, from 15,275 incidents to 12,724. The data are based on raw crime numbers as of Aug. 20, which don’t account for population growth, unlike crime rates.
Among violent crimes, the steepest declines were seen in robberies (down roughly 33 percent) and aggravated assaults, such as shootings and stabbings (down about 15 percent). Homicides dropped to 20 so far this year from 26 in 2017.
This, all while arrests have continued to decrease.
Burglaries and larcenies have fallen 23 percent and 15 percent, respectively, since 2017. Car thefts also fell, but not as much as arsons, which decreased from 66 to 49. Meanwhile the overall number of reported property crimes have gone down 15 percent, the figures show.
But the news has not been all good.
The report follows a bloody stretch in which six people were wounded by gunfire around the city between Tuesday and Thursday. None of the victims died, but the violence has left police and residents alarmed by the possibility of retaliatory acts, particularly with the shooting of a suspected high-ranking Stick Up Boys gang member at a downtown gas station on Wednesday.
Some of the escalation in bloodshed began after the daytime slaying of 19-year-old Nathan Hampton at North Commons Park last month.
Citywide, the number of gunshot victims is down nearly 13 percent, from 178 as of Aug. 20, 2017, to 155 this year — a tally that doesn’t include the victims from the most recent incidents.
Police officials said the recent spike is an aberration when considering the overall declines.
Sgt. Darcy Horn, a police spokeswoman, said the drop is the result of improved community engagement and the professionalism of officers, who have been working under the strain of public criticism in recent months.
“MPD is proud of the partnership we have with members of the community and believe it’s reflected in these numbers that are significant,” she said.
Citywide, the violent crime rate — the number of crimes per population — has crept up in recent years after falling significantly during the late 2000s, according to a Star Tribune analysis of available police data. The overall crime rate has also increased.