By Matt Johnson, The Systems Scientist

Crime is an important indicator of the attractiveness of a city in Urban Dynamics. This means it’s important to consider and recognize because it could and often does have a negative and adverse affect on a city as well as individual parts of a city.

Let us use rationale and data to guide our way and perceptions. We’ve seen patterns in previous articles that describe different systems’ behaviors in different parts of the city. For example, we’ve seen and compared the behavior of the foreclosure rates in the 4th and 5th Wards and the behavior of the foreclosure rate in the 2nd Ward.

It was clear from the data that the foreclosure rates of the 4th and 5th Wards closely mimicked the behavior of the foreclosures of the general system of Minneapolis. Conversely, it was clear that the foreclosure behavior of the 2nd Ward seemed to have a mind of its own, nor an attachment or relationship with the behavior of the general system of Minneapolis (See link below).

And as this author implicitly indicated in a recent article in Our Black News, the difference in unemployment between those in predominantly “black” neighborhoods and those in predominantly “white” neighborhoods is as much as 4 to 5 times if not more. Of course, years of data would allow this author to compile and analyze more precise systems’ behaviors with more accurate conclusions.

Making due with what we currently have, Table 1 shows us that the crime rate from 2015 follows a fairly normal distribution, i.e., Bell-curve. We also notice from the table that the crimes are skewed towards the 2nd half of the year. In other words, there are more crimes committed in the later half of the year than in the first half of the year. And finally, we can see that the month with the highest number of crimes for 2015 was July with 2,116; whereas, the month with the lowest number of crimes for 2015 was February with 1,144.

As we will see in future articles, this Bell-curve pattern was pretty much the same for 2013 and 2014. We will also notice the months for the lowest and highest numbers of crimes will remain the same; that is, February and July, respectively.

The good news is the fact that the number of overall crimes in the city has been decreasing from year to year, at least back to 2013. And although February and July remain the lowest and highest months for crime, respectively, the total number of crimes for each month decreased from 2013 to 2014 and from 2014 to 2015.

It will be clear to us over the next couple articles that the number of crimes in the general system of Minneapolis is trending downwards. This added together with the decreasing unemployment rate over the past few years and the decreasing foreclosure rate is certainly goods news for the residents of Minneapolis in general. However, we must ask ourselves some worthwhile questions as we always do.

How do the crime rates of the 13 Wards of Minneapolis compare to the crime rate of Minneapolis itself? Remember, the sub-systems of Minneapolis are being analyzed and compared to the general system of Minneapolis.

Another question, how do the crime rates of the respective neighborhoods compare to the crime rates of their parent wards and the crime rate of the city overall? Will there be similarities? Will there be differences? What type of crimes are being committed? Will the crime rates be higher in predominantly “black” neighborhoods? And finally, what else can be gleaned from such data? In other words, what does it say about the system?

For further exploration of this subject, explore Patterns of the 5th Ward: “Race”Patterns of the 5th Ward: Unemployment, Foreclosure Rates: Wards 2, 4, and 5 from 2006 to 2015.

**Remember, there is nothing more American than discourse. You are always welcome to post your comments, thoughts, and questions below. Feedback is always appreciated!