Violent crime is up in Hennepin County, and it's something the sheriff's office is calling a "major issue."
The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office said Monday that violent crime (that's homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) is up 6 percent for the first six months of 2016 when compared to the same time period last year.
“The Sheriff’s Office sees this increase as a major issue, and we have rededicated our resources to fight this alarming trend,” Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said in an email news release.
According to mid-year statistics:
- Rape is up 11 percent.
- Business robbery is up 22 percent.
- Aggravated assault is up 11 percent.
But there is some good news. The homicide rate is down 24 percent. There were 19 homicides between January and June this year – during that time last year there were 25.
A few other violent crime categories are also down:
- Person-to-person robbery is down 4 percent.
- Property crimes (business burglary, residential burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson) are down 3 percent.
- Part 1 crimes (both violent crime and property crime) are down 2 percent.
The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office says it has a few initiatives to combat violent crime, including targeting violent offenders and illegal guns through the Violent Offender Task Force and the Sheriff's Criminal Information Sharing Analysis, which organizes crime-fighting "collaborations" so police departments can alert each other about crime patterns and identify suspects more quickly.
“As always, we need the help of community leaders and residents. We all share the responsibility to prevent crime and partner in keeping our families and neighborhoods safe. We welcome all crime tips, including anonymous tips," Stanek said.
Read more about Stanek's other initiatives here.