Violent crime falls for a fifth year in a row in Minneapolis

Violent crime continues to decline in Minneapolis for the fifth year in a row. As of June 30, violent crime has dropped nearly 15 percent compared to the same point in 2010, after falling to a 27-year low for all of 2010. These statistics were presented at press conference attended by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan and other elected leaders at the Fourth Precinct in North Minneapolis Monday, July 18.

City and police leadership praised the work of City, County and federal prosecutors who cooperate closely with Minneapolis Police, and police officers themselves for helping reach this milestone. According to Minneapolis Police, while several large cities are recording drops in crime in recent years, few if any of them can point to Minneapolis’ consistent, five-year drop in crime.

As an important component in the citywide drop in violent crime, the number of youth suspects in violent crime has declined 14 percent since the midpoint of 2010 and 66 percent since the midpoint of 2006, the recent high-water mark for violent crime and youth crime. The City's Youth Violence Prevention initiative — a comprehensive, community-driven approach that treats youth violence as a public-health epidemic, which began in response to an outbreak of youth-driven violence in 2006 — is being credited with leading the citywide drop in violent crime.

The drop in violent crime is led by an ongoing decline in the number of gun incidents, with Minneapolis on track to record a 20 percent drop in gun incidents in 2011 compared to 2010. Mayor Rybak and Chief Dolan credited the success of Project Exile, a partnership between the Minneapolis Police Department, the Hennepin County Attorney and the United States Attorney to arrest and prosecute the most violent gun offenders and get illegal guns off the street. Project Exile began in July 2010 after a spike in gun violence in the first half of that year. City, County and federal officials earlier credited Project Exile’s focus on guns with leading a decline in gun crime in the second half of 2010.

Other initiatives included cooperation and partnership with neighbors, businesses and community organizations as contributing to the decline in violent crime. Police cite North Minneapolis revitalized Hawthorne Eco-Village, once the site of a large open-air drug market, as a successful partnership between neighbors, police and many others that has helped significantly to drive down crime. The combined efforts of Minneapolis Police and community partners in the Eco-Village resulted in a 73-percent decline in violent crime in that neighborhood between 2007 and 2009 and an 85-percent decline in drug arrests.

Comprehensive statistics about violent crime citywide and in North Minneapolis at the midpoint of 2011 are available here.

Published Jul. 18, 2011