The Minneapolis violent crime rate dropped 5 percent from 2009 to 2010 and, overall, crime is down 19 percent since 2006.
Those numbers are according to the Minneapolis Police Department’s 2010 crime statistics, which were presented to the City Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Health Committee on Feb. 2.
The 1,600 robberies in 2010 were the least since 1983. Violent crime was at its lowest level since 2001.
Police attribute the decrease to a number of factors, most notably their increased use of databases and technology to identify “hotspots” where crime is likely to occur at a given time.
By using a historic data, crime analysts at the city have been able to find patterns that help them locate an area where a crime is likely to occur, and then the department can put patrols in those locations.
“I think the focused and proactive response has been the one that’s actually made the impact [on reducing crime],” said Sgt. Jeff Egge, the head of the Police Department’s Crime Analysis Unit.
While 2010 kicked off with seven homicides in the first three weeks, crime by year’s end continued its downward trend over the last four years.
Robbery was down 5 percent from 2009 and down 21 percent from 2008. Aggravated assault was down 7 percent from 2009 and down 15 percent from 2008.
Homicide doubled from 2009 to 2010, jumping from 19 to 39. Last year, however, was an abnormally low year for homicides. The 39 homicides were one more than in 2008.
Property crimes — burglary, larceny, auto theft and arsons — were up 2 percent from 2009 but down 12 percent from 2008.
Northeast remains safest precinct
The 2nd Precinct remains the safest precinct of the city’s five precincts, the 2010 crime stats revealed.
The Northeast precinct had nearly 1,000 fewer crimes than the 5th Precinct of Southwest Minneapolis, the precinct with the second lowest crime rate.
Most crime categories in Northeast increased slightly in 2010 but are much lower than in 2008.
There were two homicides in the precinct in 2010, compared to four in 2009 and one in 2008.
Violent crime was up 7 percent from 2009 but down 8 percent from 2008. Property crime was up four percent from 2009 but down 4 percent from 2008.
Mixed bag for Downtown crime
The 2010 crime stats showed crime in the First Precinct of Downtown Minneapolis was up in some categories and down in others.
Violent crime was up 2 percent from 2009 but down 4 percent from 2008. Property crime increased by 10 percent from 2009, but is down 10 percent from 2008.
The stats show that in some categories Downtown’s crime picture is improving, such as auto theft (down 36 percent), arson (down 22 percent), and rape (down 28 percent). In other areas crime increased, such as aggravated assault (up 13 percent) and larceny (up 15 percent).
Reach Nick Halter at firstname.lastname@example.org.