2008 vs 2009 Crime in Minneapolis

Minnesota Democrats Exposed’s incompetent blogger in chief, Luke Hellier, has been raising alarmist red flags about the state of crime in my City of Minneapolis that deserve to be smacked down. For example, he through out this nugget where he suggested that “facts are facts”:

Luke Hellier on Rape and Aggravate Assaults

We’ve already gone over the rape statistics where Luke Hellier accused me of lying, I proved him wrong with a few screenshots, then he claimed that he didn’t call me a liar. Now, let’s take a look at Minneapolis’ aggravated assault stats. Thanks to Bill for asking about this in the comments of a previous post. Bill asked:

What were the percentages/Ns for the others? Honestly an increase in rape is much more important than decreases in some of the crime you mention (aside from homicides).

I wouldn’t for a second claim that rape isn’t a serious crime and would like to know more about why that particular category of crime has had a bad year. But getting back to the narrative Luke Hellier is trying to push over at Minnesota Democrats Exposed, it’s pretty darn clear that the City of Minneapolis is having a good year over year in 2009, contrary to the Luke’s poorly supported claims. A spreadsheet of the data is included below, or click here for a better view. Green is good, as in down year over year. Row 4, in this case, divides the 11 months of data in 2009 into the 12 months of data in 2008. That’s clearly not a fair comparison. Row 5 takes the 11 months of 2009 data and spreads it out evenly for a 12th month. Crime in generally low in December, so that may or may not be a good estimate, but it’s a rough estimate of 12 months of 2009 crime data.

When I look at this data, I see year over year crime in the city down a projected 12%. That percentage comes from simply dividing the year to date’s 11 months of crime then multiplying by 12, which is actually very generous to Luke Hellier since December is historically a slow month for crime.

Luke Hellier also claims that aggravated assaults will be up year over year. Here’s a look at the historical month by month aggravated assaults in the City of Minneapolis. Guess when the dips occur:

Minneapolis Aggravated Assaults by Month

So for Luke Hellier to be right about his aggravated assault claim, that particular category of crime would have to more than double its historical average this month.

It would be nice to see someone in the reality based community take over for Luke Hellier at Minnesota Democrats Exposed since Luke doesn’t appear to be part of the reality based community.

4 thoughts on “2008 vs 2009 Crime in Minneapolis”

  1. The first thing I thought of when seeing that 3% increase in rapes is maybe it’s not an increase in the crime itself but an increase in the reporting. Historically, rape has been largely underreported. Over the last 5 years, 60% on average have gone unreported, according to these statitics from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. But reporting has been on an increase (1/3) since 1993.

    Those are national so I’ll have to dig further into more local (and current) reporting stats when I have more time, and see if there is evidence of an increase in assaults or if it’s because more victims are coming forward. It’s entirely possible that the instances of rape and sexual assault are actually decreasing.

    If it’s the latter, then we could explore the Why?; are sexual assault convictions going up? One of the factors that victims consider when deciding whether or not to report crime is the potential trauma of reliving it through a trial only to have the defendant walk (s/he said, s/he said).

    And if reporting AND convictions are going up, what conclusions could we draw about how safe the residents of Minneapolis feel?

  2. @Ang, I’m sure your attempts to get to the truth of the matter will be enlightening to Luke Hellier . . . NOT.

    But seriously, that’s an interesting perspective on the stats and I’d love to see more of it if you find a source. I think reporting plays a role in the more petty of crimes as well. People seem less likely to call the cops about smaller things like bikes being stolen in neighborhoods where there are more serious crimes taking place.

  3. Crime stats are difficult to understand in general. There are many factors which influence their occurrence, their reporting (as Ang points out) and the attention they receive from the police department.

    I have been paying close attention to a lot of crime, including who, what and why people are incarcerated in Dakota County, and even have been trying to work through answering some of the questions via discussions with local police chiefs but I am no closer to an answer than I was before I started sorting through all the public data available.

    That said, Ed, I do believe you are probably correct here in that MDE is trying to get his point across using statistics that are favorable to his narrative. Can you blame him though–he’s just like any other Internet blowhard (myself included) trying to get pageviews and discussion while pandering to his narrowly focused readers.

    Good work here Mr. Kohler. Keep it up.

  4. If Luke is truly concerned with crime, why isn’t he blogging about how Gov BridgeFAIL has cut police funding due to his mis-management of state finances?

    But, then he would break his crony-in-training program, wouldn’t he. He is merely the next generation of GOP party hacks, here is the highlights of his first page googles today–
    http://dumpbachmann.blogspot.com/2007/07/more-disturbing-information-about-luke.html
    –which references this tidbit–“Luke was…number five on the (2005-6) list of the Top Young Conservative Activists in America complied by the Young America’s Foundation.”
    http://students.yaf.org/activists/topten/2006-2007.cfm (a deadlink now, not much staying power in these lists, I guess they aren’t very proud of them anymore.)

    Then he grew up to by being handed a job by Gov BridgeFAIL, to be the student referenced in this quote–“Governor Pawlenty is the only Governor to ever appoint a student who did not receive the support of the student associations.”
    http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/article/2007/06/25/governor-pawlenty-taking-trust-out-trustee.html

    Is there any doubt the GOP considers this the next step in Luke’s incompetent crony ladder.

    Luke, when the stats show there is no there there, then you need to move on to the next issue, not try to mis-lead voters and in the process undermine your party.

    GOP, when there is no there there, then you need to change your party ideology to become attractive to people who have the brains to represent your party and the people of the state of Minnesota. Until you get that, you risk becoming the WHIGS of 2010.

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