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Statewide figures released by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Friday highlights the spike in violent crime experienced across Minnesota in 2021.

The Uniform Crime Report details trends in criminal activity, arrests and statistics about the actions of law enforcement officers. 

According to the report, violence crime accounted for 6.3% of incidents reported in Minnesota in 2021.  

Source: The 2021 Uniform Crime Report / Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. 

Source: The 2021 Uniform Crime Report / Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. 

The number of violent crimes reported statewide in 2021 increased approximately 22% compared to 2020.

The number of violent crimes reported within the seven-county metro showed an increase of roughly 37%. 

According to the data, robberies decreased substantially in six of the seven metro-area counties with the exception of Hennepin, while other types of violent crime rose sharply in some areas. 

In Washington County, for example, homicides rose 300% (one in 2020 compared to four in 2021)  and aggravated assaults increased by nearly 97% (98 in 2020 compared to 193 in 2021). 

Dakota County saw the second largest increase in aggravated assaults with incidents rising roughly 57% compared to last year. 

While the Twin Cities was the primary driver of violent crime in Minnesota, rapes and aggravated assaults were also up in Greater Minnesota.

The increase in the number of reported rapes in Greater Minnesota was higher than in the Twin Cities, rising 17.67% compared to 7.02% in the metro. Aggravated assaults were also up 26.58%, but homicides were down 13.89% and robberies down 45.06%.

Source: The 2021 Uniform Crime Report / Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. 

Source: The 2021 Uniform Crime Report / Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. 

The crime spike seen in Minnesota since the start of the COVID pandemic mirrors trends seen in much of the rest of the country, with the onset of the pandemic sparking periods of mass unemployment and economic uncertainty.

Crime levels in Minneapolis at least are at a similar level in 2022 as in 2021, but Minneapolis Police Department said this week that crime levels are showing signs of plateauing. This has coincided with Gov. Tim Walz and Department of Public Safety Commissioner Jon Harrington deploying more state law enforcement agents in the Twin Cities in response to recent crime spikes.

But while crime has been rising in most of the country the past few years, Minnesota Republicans place the blame on Walz, despite crime staying stable in 2019, his first full year as governor and the only pre-pandemic year he has been in office.

House Minority leader Kurt Daudt criticized the Department of Public Safety for releasing the Uniform Crime Report late on a Friday, and slammed Walz's judicial appointees for allegedly letting "violent criminals off with slaps on the wrists."

"Republicans are ready to lead next session with make major investments in public safety and stronger penalties for repeat and violent criminals so we can stop Democrats’ revolving door that’s fueling Minnesota’s crime crisis," Daudt said.

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