Minnesota saw 21% violent crime increase in 2021, according to new report

One day after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said he will keep reinforcements in Minneapolis indefinitely to help curb violent crime, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) released its 2021 Uniform Crime Report Friday, which showed a 21.6% increase in violent crime in the state in 2021.

The report offers an annual summary of crime data submitted by law enforcement agencies throughout Minnesota to meet state and federal reporting requirements for the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).

"The Department of Public Safety has stepped up investigations and proactive patrols in partnership with our federal, state and local officers … by following the data, we hope these efforts will reduce victimizatio, improve focused and effective rapid responses, and hold offenders accountable," "Minnesota’s Commissioner of Public Safety John Harrington said in a press release accompanying the report.  

In the seven-county metro area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties) violent crime rose by 23.9%, while violent crime in greater Minnesota rose by 16% during the same time period.

The report offers an annual summary of crime data submitted by law enforcement agencies throughout Minnesota. (Image taken from the state report)

Crimes by category

Data can be accessed in Minnesota Crime Data Explorer, which can be used by political and law enforcement leaders to track and respond to crime trends. 

There were 201 murders in Minnesota in 2021, compared with 185 in 2020 – an increase of 8.65%. 

Aggravated assaults rose 33.7%, while motor theft rose 8.5% from 2020 to 2021.

The report also tracks property theft, where car thefts were up by 8%, to nearly 15,000 stolen vehicles in 2021. That was the highest total since 2001.

There were also 779 carjacking incidents in 2021, the first year data was collected on the specific crime aside from motor theft.

In recent months the Minneapolis Police Department has made a concentrated effort to crackdown on carjackings within the city. 

Law enforcement incidents

The data also measures information involving law enforcement incidents.

Officer-involved shooting incidents dropped in 2021 to 24, five fewer than in 2020. Meanwhile, officers were assaulted 900 times in 2021, a 35% increase over 2020.

In 2020 the Minnesota Legislature enacted a requirement that law enforcement agencies provide information about use-of-force incidents for the FBI’s Use-of-Force Data Collection. 

The incidents that require reporting under the law include when a firearm was discharged toward a person, and any use-of-force incident resulting in serious bodily injury or death.

Minnesota agencies reported 30 use-of-force incidents in 2021, down from 45 in 2020.