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Number of murders, other violent crimes went down in 2014

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Total occurrences of violent crimes in Minnesota saw a slight decline in 2014 compared to the year prior. But the number of murders in the state dropped by 26 percent during that time, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) says.

Violent crimes (murders, rapes, aggravated assaults, robberies and human trafficking) decreased by 0.1 percent in 2014, the BCA's 2014 Uniform Crime Report released Wednesday shows.

The number of murders in the state saw the most significant decrease last year compared to 2013. There were 82 in 2014, down from 111 in 2013.

Homicides represented only 0.7 percent of the violent crimes committed last year, with one occurring approximately every four days, the report says. Fifty-one percent of those involved the use of a firearm.

Robbery and aggravated assaults were also both down from 2013, while the number of rapes increased slightly, but still remained below 2,000.

And new in this year's report is human trafficking data, which the state began collecting in 2014. There were 38 cases reported to the BCA last year, including 35 incidents of commercial sex acts and three cases of involuntary servitude crimes.

Most property crimes down

The BCA report notes most types of property crimes also declined last year. The number of arson cases dipped to 849 after seeing a spike in 2013. For the third straight year burglary crimes decreased, down 9 percent in 2014. Larceny also saw a decline.

Motor vehicle theft was the only type of property crime that saw an increase last year, the report shows.

New to this year's report was cargo theft, with one reported incident.

Other findings from the report

  • The number of police chases that resulted in deaths rose from one in 2013 to three last year.
  • Bias-motivated crimes dropped from 154 cases in 2013 to 98 cases in 2014.
  • There were 137,182 serious crimes (crime index offenses) reported in 2014 – a decrease of 4.4 percent from the 143,566 offenses the year before.
  • Of the total crime index offenses reported last year, 29 percent were cleared by arrest.
  • There were 152,470 arrests made in 2014 for crimes reported in the Uniform Crime Report, including 128,670 adults and 23,800 juveniles.

To read the full 204-page report – which goes in-depth on types of crimes, noting the age and race of the victims and offenders, location of the crimes, what weapons were used (if any), goods involved, and other details – click here.

This data, which is collected from local law enforcement agencies, is used by state officials as well as the FBI. The FBI compiles data from around the country for reporting purposes and in its annual publications.

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