The Saint Paul Police Department today (Wednesday, Jan. 13) released preliminary year-end crime statistics for 2020.  

Overall, Part I Offenses increased by 15.5 percent, according to data compiled by the police department’s crime analysts.

Part I Offenses are the most serious crimes tracked by the police department and are broken down into two categories: crimes against persons and crimes against property. Crimes against persons include criminal homicide, rape and aggravated assault. Crimes against property include robbery, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft and arson. 

In 2020, crimes against persons increased by 21.8 percent while crimes against property rose by 14.9 percent. Violent crime, which is a sub-category of Part I Offenses that includes homicide, rape, aggravated assault and robbery, increased by nearly 25 percent.  

Two categories—rapes and residential burglaries—decreased in 2020.

Much of the overall hike in Part I Offenses was driven by commercial burglaries and arsons, which were up by 70.5 percent and 78 percent, respectively, and accounted for about half of the increase.  

Saint Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell believes several factors led to the rise in crime.

“This was an incredibly hard year for all of us,” he said. “Between a global pandemic, historic levels of rioting and very real economic pain, our country and city just experienced one of the most difficult periods of time in our city’s history. It’s astonishing to me that people would use these incidents as an opportunity to take advantage of others, victimize people and add to the misery.

“But sadly, that’s what we’ve seen—right here in Saint Paul and throughout the country. But we’re dedicated to doing our part to return a sense of normalcy to the community. That means strategically leveraging our resources to find the people committing crimes and hold them accountable for their actions. We owe that to the victims—especially those who’ve been affected by the most serious crimes.”   

In 2020, Saint Paul police officers responded to 244,965 calls for service, 2,326 reports of shots fired, 220 reports of people shot, and 34 homicides. They also recovered 658 guns and cleared 31 of the 34 homicides (91 percent, which is much higher than the national clearance rate in the United States, according to statista.)

The following is a list of the number of reports for each category received in 2020 as well as the percentage change from the previous year:

 

 

2019

2020

% Change

Homicide*

30

34

13.3%

Rape

236

196

-16.9%

Robbery

542

716

32.1%

Aggravated Assault

946

1,246

31.7%

Burglary**

2,038

2,279

11.8%

Commercial Burglary

455

776

70.5%

Residential Burglary

1,583

1,503

-5.1%

Theft

6,751

7,656

13.4%

Motor Vehicle Theft

2,419

2,774

14.7%

Arson

118

210

78%

 

Because the data are based on initial incident information that does not include a final assessment of victims or unfounded reports of crime, it is considered preliminary. It is possible that the final percentage could change slightly when it is submitted to the FBI for Uniform Crime Reporting purposes later this year.

Once submitted, that information, along with data for previous years can be found at https://www.fbi.gov/services/cjis/ucr.

*Homicide totals do not include justifiable incidents (one in 2019, one in 2020)

**Burglary includes both commercial and residential burglaries

Last Edited: January 13, 2021