The violent crimes of homicide, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery were up 3.5 percent in Minneapolis, reversing the trend of at least the last three years, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. The larger category of serious crime reports, which includes violent crimes, dropped one-half percent in 2004. The amount of violence is nowhere near the city’s record-breaking 97 homicides in 1995. There were 54 homicides this year and about 1,800 aggravated assaults, compared with 2,873 such assaults during the city’s deadliest year.
The police department got outside help to go after repeat offenders and problem properties. Community prosecutors were placed in precincts to work more closely with officers and to learn the specific crime challenges of the precinct. Underneath all this, said Police Chief Bill McManus, is a sense that community leaders and residents are playing less of “the blame game” over crime and trying to work with police to identify issues before they reach a festering point.