Why this is important
Crime rates provide a quick snapshot of the safety of our community. In addition to its effect on victims, crime rates may affect the degree to which individuals form social bonds and become involved in their communities. Perceptions of personal safety promote community activity, neighborhood connections, stable communities, and economic development.
What the data show
Within the seven-county metropolitan area, Carver County has the lowest overall crime rate and Hennepin and Ramsey have the highest rates. Dakota County’s crime rate is consistently below the statewide crime rate. This figure refers to the occurrence of crimes, not arrests, and is determined by the number of crimes reported and population estimates.
In Dakota County, rates for serious felonies (Part I crimes) decreased over the last decade. Part II crime rates showed a continuous decrease in the last ten years as well. Please see Background for definitions.
The Dakota County Attorney’s Office tracks criminal charges of adults and juveniles in the County. In 2011, the total number of adults charged with felony offenses increased by 17% (1,714 in 2011 compared to 1,464 in 2010). The number of juvenile offenders charged with all level of crimes decreased (by 8%) from 1,445 in 2010 to 1,334 in 2011. For more information, go to the County Attorney's Annual Crime Reports.
Perception of Safety
The 2011 Dakota County Residential Survey reports that people generally feel safe in their communities. Approximately three-quarters of respondents said they felt safe from illegal drug activity, from drunk drivers on County roads and from being injured while biking or walking on roads in the county. About half of respondents said they felt safe from distracted drivers on County roads when traveling within the county.
Part I crimes include serious, generally violent felonies, including: homicide (murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and manslaughter), assault, offenses involving dangerous weapons, kidnapping, robbery, sex offenses, criminal vehicular homicide/injury and terroristic threats, burglary, theft, and arson. Any crime not included in the list of Part I crime is a Part II crime.
Part II crimes are considered less serious and include vandalism, weapons violations, and drug and domestic abuse. The categories are part of the Uniform Crime Report classifications designated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.