2019 Minnesota Crime Statistics
We often hear reports about the most dangerous cities or states across the country. However, it is crucial to understand what factors are used to determine whether an area is “safe.” In most cases, researchers, news agencies, and law enforcement officials will look at crime statistics for a particular area when determining safety. On that note, we want to give some of the latest statistics involving both violent crimes and property crimes in Minnesota. Additionally, we will look at some of the most dangerous cities in Minnesota and various factors that contribute to crime.
Violent Crime Statistics
According to data available from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, violent crime accounted for 9.6% of all offenses reported during the latest year. DPS data shows that there were 12,509 total violent crimes reported. This can be broken down into the following:
- Murder – 117
- Rape – 2,431
- Robbery – 3,081
- Aggravated Assault – 6,742
- Human Trafficking (Commercial Sex Acts) – 128
- Human Trafficking (Involuntary Servitude) – 10
Property Crime Statistics
DPS data shows us that property crimes accounted for more than 90% of the total crimes committed in Minnesota during the latest year. There were 117,864 property crimes reported. This can be broken down into the following:
- Burglary – 15,735
- Theft/Larceny – 90,257
- Motor Vehicle Theft – 11,410
- Arson – 462
Most Dangerous Cities in Minnesota
General, Minnesota is a very safe place to live and visit. However, as with any state throughout the country, there are some cities that are more dangerous than others. We can turn to statistics provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to ascertain which cities are statistically the most dangerous in Minnesota. This includes the following:
- Waite Park
- Spring Lake Park
- West St. Paul
Factors Contributing to Crime
While some crimes are certainly spontaneous and may not have significant contributing factors, the reality is that the socioeconomic status of an area is a good indicator of where and what type of crime will occur.
- Poverty. More than any other socioeconomic factor, poverty significantly impacts crime in an area. Countless studies have linked higher crime rates with areas that have higher poverty rates.
- Unemployment. In general, poverty and unemployment are correlated. Therefore, it is important to highlight that unemployment can also be an indicator of crime for an area.
- Education. Studies unequivocally show that education is correlated to crime rates. The less average education that an area has, the more likely it will be for the crime rate to be elevated.
Socioeconomic factors are often left out of the discussion when determining what measures to take to increase public safety. The common refrain by those seeking to lower crime rates is “increase the police presence.” The reality is that, while an increased police presence may temporarily lower crime rates due to the additional law enforcement officers, this is not going to solve the long-term systemic problems. Increased police presence does not change the fact that an area may be suffering from poverty, unemployment, and low education rates.
The solutions to lowering crime are long-term and involve a widespread effort by community leaders, state legislators, law enforcement officials, and educators to come together and create a solid plan for positive change.