The number of homicides in the Minneapolis area has climbed sharply, by 50% so far in 2015 according to a report from local CBS television station WCCO. The city witnessed 21 homicides from January to June, compared to 13 in all of 2014. Moreover, the trend reverses a pattern, also reported by WCCO, in which murders in the area were seen to be trending downward as of January this year.
According to reporter Rachel Slavik, the police have no specific theory about the large increase, targeting either drug-related deaths or personal disputes. Guns were cited by local authorities as a prime factor in the steep climb.
Local police officials stressed that they are taking steps to prevent violent crime throughout Minneapolis. “Of course it’s frustrating, any homicide is one too many,” noted Commander Catherine Johnson of the Minneapolis Police Department. “It’s something we take very seriously and we don’t ever like increases.”
Aggravated assault also increased, although less dramatically. In total, violent crime is up in Minneapolis by 5% year over year.
Again, no specific pattern could be pinpointed in assaults. The northeast area of the city registered an 18% climb in violent crime from January to June, for example, although North Minneapolis shows the most violent crime.
Robbery and burglary rates, however, have decreased year to year.
Commander Johnson stressed that methods such as community policing, working cases to find any connections, and relying on the public’s for help for information have proven effective in decreasing homicide rates in the past and will be used vigorously going forward.