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Understanding Minneapolis Crime Statistics

The Minneapolis Police Department generates statistics each week for its weekly crime data review meetings and monthly neighborhood summaries. These statistics use the same crime categories as the Uniform Crime Report Part I offenses, but are counted differently (see example below).

The UCR crime groupings are broken into Part I and Part II offenses with the Part I offenses having been chosen by the U.S. Department of Justice as indicator crimes of the level of criminality of a community. The Part I offenses generally include some of the most serious offenses but it also includes crimes of less seriousness when viewed individually. The Department of Justice is looking at offenses that are individually serious (i.e. Homicide or robbery) and offenses when viewed as a group are an indicator of a community's criminality (i.e. Larceny/Theft). At the inception of the CODEFOR process a decision was made to use the Part I group of crimes as our indicators of progress. Special computer programs were written to tally the Part I crime categories for the CODEFOR process. These programs count the offenses differently than does the software the department uses to produce the official Uniform Crime Report statistics each month consequently direct comparisons between the two should not be made. Both programs and resulting counts have been checked for accuracy. Both programs count things correctly; the results may be different because the programs are designed that way.

The differences can be explained with an example. A crime event may contain multiple offenses. The UCR counts only the most serious offense in the event whereas the CODEFOR Statistics counts each offense, resulting in higher counts. The UCR is counted based on the date the offense was reported to the MPD. Minneapolis crime data are counted based on the date the victim said the offense started. The actual date an event happened and the date reported are often different. For example, a victim reports on August 1st that her apartment was broken into, her purse and cash stolen and that she was raped and that the crime occurred on July 31. UCR counts one offense of rape (the most serious offense) in August (the month reported). MPD statistics counts one rape, one burglary and one theft in July.

Calculating percentage changes on reports (pdf)

Last updated Apr 30, 2018

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