Saturday, December 31, 2005

Minneapolis "serious" crime up 13%

It took until the last day of the year, but someone at the Red Star has finally been paying attention to Rambix and the Red Star. Hundreds of posts since April of 2005 have documented violent and vicious crimes in the Twin Cities in general, and Minneapolis in particular. The Red Star has discovered the trend on this day, December 31, 2005: "Serious crimes up in Twin Cities; They have increased 13 percent in Minneapolis and 6 percent in St. Paul, and police are planning changes in 2006."

Reports of the most serious crimes in Minnesota's two largest cities rose last year due in large part to robberies and aggravated assaults in Minneapolis and auto thefts and commercial burglaries in St. Paul, according to preliminary statistics released this week.

If the trend dictated by the St. Paul figures holds true, it will be the first rise in serious crime there since 2001.

In Minneapolis, while homicides fell, aggravated assaults jumped 23 percent and robberies rose 22 percent.
These figures reveal a significant rise in violent crime, which, by the way, appears to be escalating even throughout the usually slow winter season. What does this foretell about spring, when the weather warms? We saw the explosion of robberies in the spring of 2005 by armed gangs of thugs. There is no indication those people have been put away; at least the Red Star hasn't reported so.

If the thugs of 2005 haven't yet been caught and punished, that means they're still out there, somewhere. It also mean other criminals will see Minneapolis as easy pickings.

Rmabix remains very pro-police, but the upsurge in violence indicates problem with how we are approaching crime-solving. While the officers on the street "get it", the brass, starting with Minneapolis Chief McManus, are hesitant, unwilling, or unable to crack down on criminals. This may be due to a variety of reasons. They will likely blame funding cuts, or liberal judges. While the latter has validity, the former is a cop-out (no pun intended).

Or could it be a police mindset? Keep in mind the headline above, while recalling 5th Precinct Commander Kris Arneson's response to Rambix' concerns over violent crime [in this case, the Uptown area] earlier this month:

"I’m not sure what you mean by violent crime, but I have addressed this issue recently on the news...In the last three months there have been three robberies in the Uptown area. One of them was the TCF Bank, another was an intoxicated man and he could only guess that is where he was, and the third was the unfortunate incident where a woman had her car taken at gunpoint. We have solved the TCF Bank robbery so far."
The crime statistics may tell inspector Arneson that there were only several robberies in the Uptown area for a recent 3 month period, but the news reports, much of it documented on Rambix and the Red Star, point to much more. So is there a problem with how the statistics are kept, in other words, how crime trends are categorized? Are we missing the overall trends? Well, the end of the year story in the Red Star finally reveals the "big picture".

Authorities in Minneapolis, where police have worked hard to crack down on drug activity, believe that criminals have turned to robbery to make a quick buck.
Here's the question Rambix would ask - Where are all these criminals coming from? Does anyone believe they are all home-grown? Are we importing everyone else's criminals? Conservatives have held that theory for a long time now. If someone would study the origin of the criminals arrested for violent crimes, the findings could be very enlightening.

More on this later.