Police officials say crime statistics back up the view that safety has deteriorated in the city's business center.
To hear some who live, work and play in downtown Minneapolis tell it, crime moves in only one direction: Up.
That perception was reinforced this week by TV news reports about bands of youths robbing people as they left bars or walked to their cars.
Police officials say crime statistics back up the view that safety has deteriorated in the city’s business center.
Reported robberies — a key indicator of a city’s overall safety — are dramatically up this year, according to police data. Total robbery numbers from Jan. 1 to Aug. 26 were 240 this year, compared with 156 in the same period last year.
Even more recent data show that as of Monday, robberies in downtown’s western half have jumped 70% over the same period last year.
Forty-eight of this year’s robberies occurred in a three-week span last month, including 23 from Aug. 20-26.
The neighborhood, one of 88 in the city, accounts for one in every five robberies in Minneapolis, police say. Property crimes there are also at their highest levels in the past five years.
The number of shootings in the surrounding First Precinct are up 22% from last year, to 28 — slightly more than the five-year average of about 27 — with most taking place in Downtown West, which includes most downtown bars and clubs. Overall, violent crime increased 27% year-over-year, mostly because of the spike in robberies.
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