Crime takes a holiday: Violence on the decline in the Twin Cities

Violent crime in the Twin Cities is down virtually across the board according to newly released FBI stats.

The bureau cautions that the data is preliminary, but the stats show violent crime down 1.4% and property crime down 2.1% nationwide. The rates are even better for Minneapolis and St. Paul, according to this chart. From 2006 to 2007:

Minneapolis Violent crime: down 7.9% to 5,580 Murder: Down 17% to 47 Robbery: Down 5% to 2,520

St. Paul Violent crime: Down 6% 2,327 Murder: Down 18% to 14 Robbery: Down 12% to 777

In one area, however, Minneapolis lags the nation: rape. Nationwide, forcible rape was down 4.3 percent, but here it stayed steady, going from 453 to 452 last year.

The New York Times article on the new stats features an interview with a professor who warns that violent crime is up among one group: black men.

'''We shouldn't be fooled into thinking our problems are over,'' Fox said. He pointed out that from 2002 to 2006 the rate of murder committed by black male teens rose 52 percent.

'Violence is down among whites of all ages and both genders; it's up among black males, not black females,'' Fox said. ''When you blend all the national numbers together you fail to see this divergence. There are many more whites in the population, so their decline can dwarf the increase among young black males.''

In answer to the commenter, Midwest Product: Yes, the trend appears to have continued in 2008, if this article is any indication:

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The number of violent crimes in Minnesota's biggest city are down from last year.

The Minneapolis Police Department says there have been 14 homicides in 2008 compared to 25 at this time last year. Aggravated assaults are also down, with 953 this year compared to 1,076 at this time in 2007.

Officials say cooler weather could be one reason police are seeing fewer violent crimes this year.

Minneapolis Police Sergeant Bill Palmer says the department's strategies for fighting crime might also be a factor. He says the department has worked hard to fight juvenile crime and target violent offenders.