Minneapolis violent crime rates hit 47-year lows

Despite the doubling of the city's homicide numbers this year over last, violent crime in Minneapolis is at an historic low.

Robbery, aggravated assault, and rape are all down citywide in Minneapolis--the lowest levels since 1963. The murder rate is dropping, too: The past three years had the lowest number of homicides in 25 years.

Crime rates are also down all around the country, according to FBI data released today.

But Minneapolis police insist that what's going on here is unique.


"During the early 2000s, we were down while the rest of the country experienced an increase," says Deputy Chief Rob Allen. "It's not consistently down all across the country, it's not down in every city--if you average all the cities together it's down. It's not down in every city."

Police credit the steady decline to their strategies of focusing on geographic crime hot spots and "preventive policing," or stopping crimes before the happen. These are the same kinds of techniques that larger cities, like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, have been doing.

Citywide, robbery, aggravated assault, and rape are all down between 2.8 and 6.7 percent from 2009.

"What's different this year is instead of looking at maps of where crime occurred last week, we are actually getting pretty good at making maps of where crime will occur next week, and putting resources there," Allen says.

In the past, Inspector Mike Martin of the 4th Precinct, which covers North Minneapolis, has said that gang violence is down lately. This also may help lower the numbers.