Monday, March 06, 2006

Surge In Uptown Rapes - 476%?!

G.R. Anderson Jr, of the City Pages weekly, reports in his blog on an increase in rapes in the Uptown Minneapolis area: "MPD stats: Choose your drinking partners wisely. Uptown sees surge in rape reports".

Last month, there was a notable revelation in the Minneapolis Police Department's regular CODEFOR meeting, where precinct commanders publicly report in front of MPD brass in the City Council chambers.

When it came time for the update from the Fifth Precinct, the area that includes Uptown and southwest Minneapolis, Inspector Kris Arneson had some bad news: rape has spiked significantly in the area.
I don't recall reading this in the Red Star. Does the Red Star have any readers who go to Uptown? Do they have any responsibility as a news organization to inform the public of this trend?

Arneson explained to her superiors that this was not an outbreak of random incidents per se; there is no rapist on the loose in Uptown.

Instead, she surmised that most of the trend had to do with the nightlife in the area, and that some people who were meeting over drinks were, perhaps, getting the wrong message--or more accurately are true scumbags. The invitation of a nightcap elsewhere, apparently, is a dicey proposition.
Why does Inspector Arneson assume this is not stranger-rape? If it isn't stranger-rape, does that make it any less dangerous?

Whatever the explanation, the latest police numbers for the year are rather sobering. Last year through the end of February, the Fifth Precinct had three cases of reported rapes. This year, the number is 17, an increase, the MPD records note, of 476 percent.
There's no problem here, Mayor Rybak. Keep up the good work!