Headline cites a 22% drop in Metro Transit crime. Here are the facts.

The Star Tribune’s top of the fold, front page article today proclaimed, “Metro Transit cites 22% crime drop.” Wisely, the online article had a more subdued headline that read, “Metro Transit reports that crime has stabilized, but ‘we still have a ways to go.” 

The article clarified that the reported drop in crime was a limited comparison between the 2nd and 3rd quarter crime reports. While any drop in reported crime is promising, the time frame comparison is questionable, as it is common for crime reports to drop between summer and fall each year.

Metro Transit’s own crime reports show this to be the case, with a drop in overall crime reported between the 2nd and 3rd quarters each year:

  • 2021 = 13%
  • 2022 = 10%
  • 2023 = 26%

2023’s 3rd quarter drop in overall crime is encouraging. However, over time the changes, quarter to quarter, haven’t translated into a sustained drop in criminal activity associated with our public transportation.

In fact, Metro Transit (MTC) crimes as reported to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension since 2021 show the following:

Total offenses — Person, property, and societal crimes (year to date, through September) have increased each year:

  • 2021 = 2282
  • 2022 = 2778
  • 2023 = 3424 (23% increase over 2022 YTD, 50% increase over 2021 YTD)

Individually, these crime categories also increased each year:

Person crime offenses:

  • 2021 = 565
  • 2022 = 577
  • 2023 = 734 (27% increase over 2022 YTD)

Property crime offenses:

  • 2021 = 1389
  • 2022 = 1449
  • 2023 = 1477 (2% increase over 2022 YTD)

Societal crime offenses (Narcotics, prostitution, gambling, etc.):

  • 2021 = 328
  • 2022 = 772
  • 2023 = 1213 (57% increase over 2022 YTD, and a 269% increase over 2021 YTD)

It is natural to want to tout progress. The metro area is begging for progress when it comes to crime, especially on the transit system. Real progress will come through sustained police presence, and proactive policing strategies. 

By all accounts improvements in police presence and activity are occurring with our MTC Police. As a result, a corresponding 2nd to 3rd quarter societal crime drop of 57% (420 to 251) was reported.

Persistent police presence and enforcement can keep this trend moving in the right direction, across all crime categories and all time periods.