Why this is important
Crime rates provide a quick snapshot of the safety in communities. In addition to the 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 can affect community activity, neighborhood connections, stability in communities, and economic development.
What the data show
Within the seven-county metropolitan area, Carver and Dakota Counties have lower overall combined crime rates (Part I and II) compared to the rest of the metro counties. Anoka and Washington Counties have the highest rates in 2012. Dakota County’s crime rate is consistently below the statewide crime rate. This chart 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 Box for definitions.
The Dakota County Attorney’s Office tracks criminal charges of adults and juveniles in the County. In 2013, the total number of adults charged with felony offenses decreased by 4% (1,545 in 2013 compared to 1,602 in 2012). In 2012, the number of juvenile offenders charged with felony offenses decreased 30% (192 in 2011 compared to 134 in 2012). For more information, see the County Attorney's Annual Crime Reports.
Perception of Safety
The 2013 Dakota County Residential Survey reports that people generally feel safe in their communities. Nine out of ten residents responded that they felt safe from violent crimes, safe in their neighborhoods (90%), and safe from being injured while biking or walking on roads in the county (83%). Less than 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.