Recent data analysis revealed that crime is spreading into certain Minneapolis suburbs, creating anxiety for residents.
Chris Uggen, a professor and criminologist at the University of Minnesota, told the Star Tribune that a large number of crimes could be a single-person crime wave in suburban areas with a small population. The numbers go up and fear goes up. However, it is possible for a small number of people to actually be involved in the crimes.
The outlet reported that violent crimes have increased in Minneapolis and St. Paul with a record 135 homicides last year. Although violent crime in the Twin Cities suburbs has not increased to the same extent, Star Tribune data that examined 50 of the most populous suburbs over five years shows that homicides have increased.
In 2021, 51 homicides occurred in suburban areas. The majority of these were in the northern metro area. This compares to 22 in 2019. While the majority of suburbs didn’t see an increase in violent crime, almost all saw an increase in property crimes such as thefts of cars and catalytic converters.
Jeff Hargarten, Star Tribune data journalist, stated that there was a general consensus that violent crime was increasing in certain suburbs. He also spoke to, KARE 11’s data. “We wanted to quantify it.”
He stated that crime started increasing in 2020 and pointed to the riots, protests, coronavirus, and other high-profile deaths from police interactions.
Hargarten stated, “You have the unrest and the pandemic, then you have George Floyd’s deaths, and the next year, Daunte Wright’s death.” Minneapolis was the epicenter of protests and riots in 2020 after George Floyd’s death during an interaction between city police.
Although violent crimes in suburbs are not as high as those in the Twin Cities, and they have remained relatively steady in some residential areas, there is still fear among some residents.
Sharon McWhite stated that crime is “really out-of-control”. “I don’t know if it’s going to get worse this year,” Sharon McWhite told the outlet.
McWhite was the victim of a purse-snatching crime in a suburban grocery shop parking lot last year. McWhite has also witnessed three of her relatives experience car thieves stealing cars from their driveways in the past year.
She believes crime is not flat in the suburbs.
She explained to the Tribune that “the way people view things is their reality.” It’s not flat if it happens to you. It’s not flat for those you know”.
Two teenage girls from the Minneapolis suburb of Golden Valley were robbed by two men with guns while they tried to get gas. KARE 11 reported that five carjackings took place in the town. The suspects were almost always wearing ski masks and carrying handguns.
The nation witnessed riots and protests in almost every major city, as well as ongoing lockdowns and the pandemic. This led to an increase in crime. According to FBI data, the U.S. saw a 30% increase in murders in 2020, compared to the prior year. This is the highest single-year increase in killings recorded since the FBI began keeping track of the crimes.
Homicides rose in major American cities by 2021. The Council on Criminal Justice released data in January that showed a 5% increase in homicides in 2020 compared to 2020.
Police departments across the country are anticipating a surge in crime this year. President Biden has called on law enforcement agencies to increase their numbers before the summer months when crime tends to spike.
“I have said it before and I will repeat it again. Every governor, every mayor, and every county official has a clear need”. My message was clear last month: “Spend the money you have now,” Biden said last month.
He said, “Use the funds we made available for you to prioritize public security.” Do it quickly before the summer when crime rates tend to spike.