County crime rate down, prosecutions up

crimeCrime rates have decreased and the clearance rate of those crimes committed has increased in Mille Lacs County during the past 10 years, according to a report released by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

“This is a ‘hats-off’ to all the men and women who work hard every day for our communities,” Mille Lacs County Sheriff Brent Lindgren said. “The governing bodies, task forces, cooperative agreements, dedicated assignments of personnel, area partnerships and contacts developed over time have shown positive results.”

The report indicated that, overall, combined clearance rates of crime by area law enforcement agencies in the county for serious Part 1 crime and serious Part 2 crime have gradually increased during the past 10 years. Clearance rate refers to charging and prosecuting suspects. Part 1 crimes are murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle thefts and arson. Part 2 crimes include other assaults, forgery/counterfeiting, fraud, embezzlement, stolen property, vandalism, weapons violations, prostitution, other sex offenses, narcotics, gambling, crimes against the family/children, DUI, liquor laws, disorderly conduct and other offenses.

Part 1 and Part 2 clearance rates of crime by local police departments have increased 16 percent, from 74 percent in 2001 to 90 percent in 2011.

The Sheriff’s Office overall clearance rate of crime for Part 1 and Part 2 offenses has also increased during the same time frame, increasing from 77 percent in 2001 to 94 percent 90 in 2011 — an improvement of 13 percent.

“And we are getting better every year with ways in which to solve crime which leads to a overall increase in solve rates,” Lindgren said.

Additionally, the report found county the crime rate per 100 people has been reduced by 8.5 percent during the decade, from 20.9 in 2001 to 12.4 in 2011.

For the full story, see the Thursday, May 9 print edition of the Times.