Crime, Law and Justice

BCA report shows violent crimes rose in 2021

A photo of a yellow crime scene tape with police cars in the background.
The number of reported violent crimes in Minnesota increased between 2020 and 2021 by nearly 22 percent, the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension reported.
Christine T. Nguyen | MPR News

The number of reported violent crimes in Minnesota increased between 2020 and 2021 by nearly 22 percent. 

However, the number of property crimes slightly decreased during that same period. That's according to the Uniform Crime Report released Friday by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. 

There were 201 murders tallied in the state last year - compared to 185 in 2020. The cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul saw near-record or record high numbers of homicides in 2021. 

The BCA also reported there were 10,967 aggravated assaults in 2021, which is 33.7 percent higher than 2020. 

The report also said motor vehicle theft rose 8.5 percent in 2021 with 14,829 vehicles stolen. The 2021 total is the highest since 2001. In addition, there were 779 carjacking incidents in 2021, the first year this data was collected. Carjacking incidents are not counted as motor vehicle thefts, according to the BCA.

Earlier this week, the city of Minneapolis issued a report detailing a troubling three-year trend in gun violence which has fueled a jump in killings and shootings.

Cities around the country have experienced similar upticks in violence since the beginning of the pandemic. 

And the trend in Minnesota has become a major campaign issue this year. State Republicans stepped up their criticism of Democratic Gov. Tim Walz following a burst of gun violence over the July 4th holiday in Minneapolis. Walz later went on the offensive calling for legislators to pass more spending for public safety. 

The BCA’s annual report on crime also includes data on firearms discharges by law enforcement officers. In 2021, officers fired their weapons at 30 people. Twelve of those people were killed. That's four more than were killed by police in the previous year.  

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