Sunday, June 12, 2005

Pioneer Press confirms Minneapolis crime spike

The Pioneer Press has a story today confirming the Minneapolis crime spike documented by Rambix over the last couple of months (You might have to register to get the PP story). Unfortunately, the Red Star reporting staff is away at a diversity and social justice seminar, so you'll find no report there. (Just how hard is it to scoop the Red Star?).

Rambix noted these trends by paying attention to the back pages of the Red Star and linking together important stories that the Red Star appeared to be supressing, burying, and relegating to the unseen parts of the paper. In other words, if you weren't looking for these stories, you weren't likely find them.

The situation in Minneapolis is actually quite stunning. It's clear the downtown leaders are worried:

"Business groups and law enforcement developed the plan in a series of monthly meetings that started after a springtime spike in crime. Two incidents in particular — separate cases of gunshots fired seemingly randomly at the skyways earlier this year — concerned downtown business owners.

"We didn't like the trends, and we're going to make sure we turn it off before people are hesitant about coming downtown," said Kent Warden, executive director of the Building Owners and Managers Association."
And this:

"In the first few months of the year, downtown Minneapolis experienced a 21 percent increase over the same period a year ago in crimes such as robbery, aggravated assault, homicide, arson, rape and theft.

The downtown crime rate remains at a higher level than last year, Allen said, but the increase has fallen to 13.5 percent."
Instead of "spike", maybe we could just call this an "explosion" of crime. It's just semantics, though. Besides, can we not take comfort in the decrease in the rate of increase to 13.5%?

"It's not just the big-time crime that has the business community upset. The so-called nuisance crimes — public urination, drunkenness, loitering, disorderly conduct, aggressive panhandling and small-time drug dealing — all contribute to an unfriendly atmosphere, business leaders said."
Agree with you there.
"Downtown Minneapolis has armed itself with extra police and sheriff's patrols and asked private security guards to alert them through the Internet and on a new radio frequency to combat the annual summertime rise in street crimes."
This is not an "annual increase". This is an explosion of crime. Get control of your city, boy-Mayor Ryback.