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Three Things to Know About Hopkins Crime

Police Chief Mike Reynolds had good news for the community Tuesday.

The annual crime reports are starting to become a tradition of good news for Hopkins.

On Tuesday, Police Chief Mike Reynolds told City Council members that 2011 statistics show crime dropped yet again for the community.

Here’s a look at three key trends from the Police Department’s annual crime report.

 

Overall crime rates continued their downward slide.

Not only did overall crime drop 3.7 percent from 2010, the major categories each dropped or remained stable. Violent crime held steady. Serious property crimes dropped 4.3 percent. And the less serious “Part II Crimes” dropped 3.5 percent.

Perhaps most significantly, 2011 saw the reversal of some of last year’s most worrisome trends. Thefts, which shot up 33 percent between 2009 and 2010, declined in 2011—although 2011’s 5.2 percent drop still leaves thefts well above the 2009 total.

The overall declines continue a drop in crime rates that’s been happening for several years now—although Reynolds said the downward trend appears to be leveling off.

The improvements aren’t limited to crime either. Crashes were one of the City Council’s biggest concerns when last year’s report showed crashes climbed more than a quarter between 2009 and 2010. But rates improved for 2011, when police saw a 28 percent decrease in the number of crashes. Reynolds said the improved weather could have been a factor.

 

But the number of calls still grew …

Police were as busy as ever even though crime rates dropped. The number of 911 calls grew by 2 percent. Officers had to respond in about half those calls.

Mental health issues accounted for some of the heavier workload. Mental health holds grew 19 percent and overall mental health calls grew 22 percent.

False alarms also remained high. Hopkins received 400 alarm calls in 2011. That’s down from 433 in 2010, but only 1 of those calls resulted in an actual burglary. The Police Department collected $10,325 in false alarm penalty fees and failure to register an alarm fine. False fire alarms are billed to the Fire Department.

 

… And certain categories of crime climbed.

Despite the overall positive trend, Hopkins saw notable growth in aggravated assaults, weapons offenses, drug crimes and liquor violations.

Some of the big percentage jumps can be chalked up to the small numbers involved. Weapons offenses, for example, climbed 400 percent. That may seem like a big number, but it only represents eight more cases than in 2010.

Other increases can actually signal more proactive efforts on the part of police, Reynolds said. Weapons offenses, drug crimes and liquor violations are all likely to climb when officers focus more attention on cracking down on those areas.

But some represent real challenges. Communities across the country have had to confront the challenge of domestic assaults, Reynolds said. (Those are included in the assaults category—which grew by just one case.)

Hopkins police get together weekly with staff from other departments—such as the City Attorney’s Office, Public Works, Planning and Economic Development and the Fire Department—to analyze the numbers and figure out ways to solve the underlying problems.

***

Hopkins Crime


2011 2010 1-year change 10-year change 20-year change

Part I Violent Crimes

Homicide 0 0 0% 0% -100% Rape 7 13 -46.2% 16.7% 40% Robbery 12 12 0% -42.9% -7.7% Aggravated assault 20 14 42.9% -60.8% -23.1% Total violent crimes 39 39 0% -50% -13.3%

Part I Property Crimes

Burglary 101 102 -1% 57.8% -16.5% Larceny/theft 363 383 -5.2% -20% -26.4% Auto theft 22 25 -12% -79.8% -73.8% Arson 6 4 50% 25% 50% Total property crimes 492 514 -4.3% -22.5% -30.7% Total part I crimes 531 553 -4% -25.5% -29.7%

Part II Crimes

Assault 149
148
.7%
13.7%
21.1%
Forgery/counterfeiting 17
17
0
-63.8%
0%
Fraud 53
88
-39.8%
65.6%
-23.2%
Embezzlement 0
1
-100%
0%
0%
Possession of stolen property 8
17
-52.9%
-50%
-57.9%
Vandalism 164
318
-48.4%
-35.4%
-45.2%
Weapons 10
2
400%
42.9%
150%
Prostitution 3
1
200%
200%
300%
Criminal sexual conduct 6
8
-25%
-70%
-84.6%
Narcotics 147
98
50%
98.6%
308.3%
Gambling 0
0
0%
0%
0%
Family/children 7
5
40%
-50%
-87.7%
DUI 86
87
-1.1%
-53.8%
-39%
Liquor violation 57
32
78.1%
-1.7%
83.9%
Disorderly conduct 77
96
-19.8%
-43%
-38.4%
Vagrancy 0
0
0%
0%
0%
All others 266
170
56.5%
43.8%
216.7%
Total part II crimes 1,050
1,088
-3.5%
-9.5%
.6%
Total crimes 1,581
1,641
-3.7%
-15.6%
-12.1%
Brad Koehn February 22, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Wait, the July 2008 Homicide doesn't figure into the ten and twenty-year stats?
James Warden February 22, 2012 at 06:09 PM
The 10- and 20-year stats are just the differences between the 2011 numbers and the 2001 and 1991 numbers, respectively. Spikes in the middle aren't captured. All this is saying is that there were no murders in 2001 and one in 1991. As you noted, 2008 was a bad year for murders. We had two—the highest since at least 2007. Unfortunately, I don't have easy access to category-by-category statistics going out 20 years. (You can get stats to 2007 here: http://hopkinsmn.com/police/stats.php) For offenses with lots of cases—like larceny—this isn't a big deal because you can still get a good grasp of the overall trend line. But my personal opinion is that the 10- and 20-year numbers are much less meaningful for rare offenses like murder—which tend to jump around between ups and downs. For example, 2009 had one murder. Did the Police Department do something to halve the rate from 2008? Or did Hopkins just get lucky? I couldn't tell you.

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