Government and Policy

Ward 4 Crime Rates in North Minneapolis

Previously, I discussed the Foreclosure rates in Wards 2, 4, and 5. I have also discussed the obvious discrepancy of condemned and vacant buildings in North Minneapolis by using the City of Minneapolis Geographical Information System. But I had not yet touched on the subject of crime rates.

Although North Minneapolis does not have the highest crime rates in the City of Minneapolis, that honor belongs to the neighborhood of Downtown West, there are clear distinctions between the neighborhoods in the 4th Ward itself.

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Right away, the Humbolt Industrial Area sticks out. The area peaks out at a total of 2 crimes in the month of May and the total crimes committed in this area were 8: larceny in January and in February, auto-theft in March, auto-theft and larceny in May, auto-theft in June, and larceny in August and in September .

The thing to keep in mind about this area is that it is an industrial area, which means there are little to no single or multi-family units. In fact, and according to the 2001 general demographics data by the City of Minneapolis, no family or person lives in the Humbolt Industrial Area as of 2000.

A couple of other observations to keep in mind, the neighborhoods of Cleveland and Shingle Creek throughout the first three quarters of 2015 had the least number of reported crimes; whereas, the Folwell neighborhood had the highest number of reported crimes throughout that same time period. And one final note, crime appears to increase over the summer months.

This increase in crime trends over the summer months is consistent with other American cities although some may view increased crime rates and the summer months with the “Ferguson riots” of 2014 and  “Baltimore riots” of 2015. This author will not conflate the two. Rather the two ideas; that is, this author will refer to the protests of Ferguson and Baltimore as American political discourse and the number of crimes as the number of crimes.

The objective of this first article is to organize the crime information of Ward 4 in an easy and recognizable way by neighborhood; second, to illustrate that crime does increase over the summer months; and finally to illustrate that their is a difference in reported crimes within the 4th Ward itself. As previous articles have demonstrated, there are differences in the forclosure numbers and condemned and vacant buildings within North Minneapolis and therefore the 4th Ward.

Going forward, there are important questions to consider and that can be asked from this information. For example, Folwell has the highest number of reported crimes. Does Folwell also have the highest number of foreclosures and condemned and vacant buildings? Do the residents of Folwell on average have a lower level of education? Do the residents of Folwell have a higher unemployment rate on average than the rest of the 4th Ward neighborhoods? Are there more “black” residents in the Folwell neighborhood than other neighborhoods in the 4th Ward? How do “black” residents of Folwell compare to “white” residents of Folwell?

Questions like these can be posed for all of the other neighborhoods of the 4th Ward, North Minneapolis, and Minneapolis in general. Eventually these questions will lead to what Thomas Sowell once asked, what happens if “black” residents in certain neighborhoods in Minneapolis other than North Minneapolis are doing just as well in education and economic viability as “white” residents?

Author’s Notes:

  1. The crime statistics for Jordan and Willard-Hay parts of the 4th Ward were not included in analysis. This is because these areas are shared with the 5th Ward in North Minneapolis.
  2. The crime statistics for Jordan and Willard-Hay will be included in the analysis of the 5th Ward.

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