ST. PAUL — Becoming a victim of a crime can be a traumatic experience, but unfortunately, too many crimes go unreported. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs’ seventh Crime Victimization Survey, only three out of 10 victims typically report crime.
Bank or credit card fraud is the most common form of property crime in in the state, with one in five adults being victimized. Despite being the most common, it’s one of the least likely to be reported (10 percent) to police.
The Crime Victimization Survey focused on property crimes and crimes against people within the previous year, along with how often those crimes were reported.
Overall, 37 percent of those surveyed were victimized in the last year, with property crimes being more common than crimes against people. Although crimes against people were less common, they were more likely to be reported to police (67 percent).
“We need to find ways to encourage crime victims to come forward so they can be informed of crime victim services, and we need to hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions,” said Raeone Magnuson, Office of Justice Programs executive director. “We have learned that crime victims who don’t come forward often times do not get connected to resources allowing them to recover, and that leaves them more vulnerable to re-victimization.”
Survey by the Numbers
Some highlights from the survey of Minnesotans about crime experiences in the previous year:
- In the previous year, 37 percent experienced personal or property crime.
- Of the property crimes, bank account fraud (stolen credit card or accessed bank account) was the most common at 17.7 percent.
- That figure has more than tripled since 2007.
- It is one of the least reported crimes to police, with only 10 percent reporting.
- Of violent crimes, those surveyed say stalking (9.6 percent) is the most common experienced crime.
- Assaults have dropped dramatically since 2001, from 2.2 to .5 percent.
- Sexual assault without penetration has more than doubled since 2010, but only 10 percent of victims reported it to police.
- Only one-third of assaults (non-sexual) were reported to police.
- Firearms in the home are down from 47 percent in 2001 to 36.6 percent in 2016.
- Amongst gun owners, permits-to-carry have tripled.
About the Office of Justice Programs
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides leadership and resources to reduce crime, improve the functioning of the criminal justice system and assist crime victims. To accomplish this, OJP administers grants; provides training and technical assistance; provides research and data; works to protect crime victims’ rights; and provides reparations benefits to victims of violent crime.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
DPS comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.