The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office says 2011 was the fifth consecutive year that violent crime dropped county wide. Since 2006, officials say violent crime decreased by 38 percent. And last year alone, violent crime fell by 6 percent, according to preliminary estimates.
Sheriff Rich Stanek attributes the decrease to better criminal information sharing and analysis, improved use of technology and expanded partnerships with local police departments.
"Crime doesn't happen in just one city or one jurisdiction. Many times you'll find burglaries or robberies going across multiple cities or jurisdictions and that's what the Sheriff's Office is helpful in terms of multi-jurisdictional investigation, Stanek said. "Now with expanded use of information-sharing and analysis, you have somebody who takes a look at the burglaries that happen in one city, 15 miles away in another city, maybe even crossing over in a county border. Now we look at it in a global perspective, rather than just city by city by city."
The county's estimates are based on criteria established by the FBI that define violent crime as murder and manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
Earlier this year, the City of Minneapolis reported violent crime in the city fell to a 28-year-low, but property crimes such as burglary and theft increased for the second year in a row.