Off Campus Safety
OCL aims to provide helpful resources to enable students to have a successful experience living and renting off-campus and we recognize that many students living off-campus are living in Minneapolis neighborhoods, under the patrol of the Minneapolis Police Department, and may need assistance understanding off-campus safety resources.
Below we reiterate some basic safety information and prevention tips, while also offering guidance on how to sign up for Minneapolis PD crime alerts and updates, based on what neighborhoods you are interested in, as well as how to find and review Minneapolis PD crime data. We want to help you to be a good advocate for yourself and your personal safety, as well as respectful to our Public Safety partners who do so much for our community.
How to Find Neighborhood Crime Data
How to Find Minneapolis Crime Data
The Minneapolis Police Crime Maps can be a good resource for you in seeing what crime has been occurring and informing your choices about where you want to rent and what to be aware of for where you do rent. Some things to help you use the maps to find the data you are looking for:
Read through the definitions of all the acronyms they use on the crime map to understand what you are seeing.
How to use the map
- You can filter data by location and date range. To use filters, hover over the black-and-white icons.
- You can move the map around with your mouse. To see the blocks around a particular address, input the address in the search bar.
- Click the star icon in the upper right section to open the Police Incidents and Additional Layers menu. Use the drop down arrow by the police incidents and additional layers filter (7 day, 14 day, etc.) to see the icons/names for the different types of crime that happened within that selected time window.
- To see details of an incident, click on a colored icon.
- A single incident might be represented by multiple icons.
- For best results, view the map in full screen.
To sign up for Minneapolis crime alerts for your neighborhood, follow the instructions on the Minneapolis Precinct Finder page.
Previously, we used to share summaries of Minneapolis Police crime data in our GopherWatch Safety Report. We are not able to provide that service at this time. We encourage you to search the crime map directly yourself to help utilize this great resource provided by the City of Minneapolis.
How to Find St. Paul Crime Data
The St. Paul Crime Statistics page can be a good resource for you in seeing what crime has been occurring and informing your choices about where you want to rent and what to be aware of for where you do rent.
- Be sure to read through their crime definitions to understand what you will see on the incident data table.
- You can access the crime incidents data and filter crimes by date, location, type of crime, etc. You can open it in a map view but the data table is the default view.
- Read through their handy instructions for using the data site.
To sign up for St. Paul crime alerts, please follow the instructions about their community update process.
General Safety Tips
- Hide Your Valuables
Keep your laptop, purse, wallet, briefcase, etc. attended or out of sight.
- Walk ‘Cheaply’
Carry the minimum amount of valuables
- Activate Your Phone
Be sure your phone's location services is activated, so police can attempt to recover it if stolen.
- Walk Aware
If walking alone, avoid distractions—phones, ear buds, etc.
- Walk Safe
Walk in groups and choose well lit routes.
- Lock the Door
Lock your living and work areas every time you leave and when you are home too.
- Keep Doors Closed
Do not prop open entrances to buildings.
- See the Blue
Note the campus blue emergency phones, which connect you with the UMPD at the touch of a button.
- Enter Alone
Don’t let strangers ‘tailgate’ behind you into your building.
- Write It Down
Write down your bike’s serial number for matching in case of theft.
- Keep Your Bike Lit
Park your bike in a well-traveled, well-lit area.
(all safety tips provided are SAFE U safety tips. For more click here)
How to Report Crimes
Reporting Crime-Who Should I call?
If you are in the vicinity of an emergency, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1.
This the most important thing to know. If someone's safety is in danger or you think it is, call 911. When in doubt, call 911. Be ready to provide your current location and a suspect description if necessary.
But if you are in a non emergency situation, you can contact:
- University of Minnesota Police
- Check out their new & improved website at publicsafety.umn.edu
- Please DIAL (612) 624-COPS (2677) or stop by their lobby at the Transportation & Safety Building (505 Washington Ave SE)
- Call 624-WALK if you would like to request the campus safe walk service
- Use the Gopher Chauffeur app to request a pick up (app available from the App Store or Google Play Store on your smart device)
- Check out the UMPD’s daily crime log https://publicsafety.umn.edu/home/dailycrimelog
- Minneapolis Police:
- Submit an online police report: Submit a report for incidents like theft, lost property, or damage to property. One can also use the Minneapolis 311 App to submit a report.
- Call 311 or 612-673-3000 for non-emergencies that do not require a police response
- Send an anonymous tip
Call the Tip Line at (612) 692-TIPS (8477) with information about a crime.
- Minneapolis crime data information
- All crime reporting advice is from the Minneapolis police department. For more tips click here.
- St. Paul Police:
Other great safety resources can be…
- The Minnesota Daily (along with other local news outlets)
- Community organization newsletters
Crime Prevention Tips
When traveling or vacationing away from home:
- Tell a trusted neighbor how long you’ll be gone and where you can be reached. Ask them to check your house every day and call 911 if they observe anyone/anything suspicious while you are away.
- Leave lights and radios or televisions on timers or ask your neighbor to switch them on and off periodically.
- Ask a neighbor to park their car in your driveway to make it appear someone is home.
- Arrange to have your grass cut or sidewalks shoveled while away
- Have your US postal mail held at the post office.
- Ask a neighbor to pick up any newspapers or items left on your door steps.
- Always lock your car. This includes if you are only leaving for a few minutes or in your garage.
- Park in well lit areas where possible.
- Don’t leave your car running even for a few minutes or in the cold unattended.
- Set your car alarm always.
- Never leave your keys in your car.
- Don’t leave valuables in your car ( not even loose change).
- Use a wheel lock.
- Watch for suspicious activity.
- Install a vehicle tracking system.
- Always bring your bike inside at night. It may be a hassle to lug it up a flight of stairs, but many bikes are stolen at night because there are fewer eyes and ears around to deter thieves.
- Use a high quality security lock ( it should have gold solid secure rating). High quality U locks are best.
- Park your bike in well lit areas.
- Try not to park in the same place each day
- Be wary of cable locks, which are easily chopped with wire cutters. They might be enough to deter passing thieves and opportunists, but they are ineffective against seasoned thieves.
- Two or three locks (even cables) are better than one. The more difficult you can make it look to steal your bike, the less a thief will want to hassle with it.
- Never lock your bike to a tree. Not only can it damage the tree, but any tree that’s small enough to fit a U-lock is small enough for thieves to cut through quickly.
- Don’t forget to lock your wheels and your saddle. Quick releases and hex bolts make it easy for thieves to snatch these components.
- Lock up your bikes even inside your garage, and be sure they are locked to some fixed point like a pipe or rafter.
- Keep a file on all of your bikes that includes receipts, serial numbers, and photos. And register each bike in a nationwide database like the National Bike Registry or here (you can register all personal property this way!) so it can be returned to you if it’s ever stolen and recovered.
- Consider investing in a GPS tracking device.
- UMPD Resources: Provides resources on Active shooter situations, Alcohol Abuse and some basic campus safety tips
- Aurora Center Handouts: Provides resources on sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking for educational purposes.
- Safe-U emergency notifications: Provides information on the Safe-U's emergency notification service that contacts all university students, employees and faculty
- Safe Campus website brings together different departments safety info in one convenient place for U students
- University Emergency Plans: Provides the university's current emergency plans
- Dinkytown Safety Guides—identified by Safety Guide shirts and baseball caps—provide a welcoming presence, enhance community connections, and provide extra eyes and ears to help keep our community safe. They are available to call 911, provide walking escort services, help visitors find their way, and connect with business and property owners in the Dinkytown commercial area. The Guides are funded by the Public Safety department.
Minneapolis Police Department(MPD) Resources
- MPD website
- Minneapolis crime alerts: Go here to sign up for crime alerts for your neighborhood
- Minneapolis Crime Statistics: For further crime statistics go here and see the interactive crime map, crime dashboard and other items
- MPD Block Clubs: Information to get involved with the MPD block club program
- MPD report a crime
St. Paul Police Department (SPPD) Resources
Off-Campus Housing Risk Reduction Program (new Fall 2023)
This new program provides a structure that highlights safety strategies and features employed by housing facilities not owned by the University. This program helps connect landlords and complexes with one another and the University, encourages known beneficial safety strategies and facilitates transparency for students/potential tenants as they make choices on where to live.
There are several key components:
- A self-guided Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design checklist for property managers with best practices and key safety strategies to review and implement. An additional checklist guides students in what to look for and consider when choosing housing, in addition to important strategies to implement as a resident.
- Safety Socials hosted by building management focusing on understanding resources, developing knowledge and building connection for residents.
- The ability for complexes and landlords to indicate key safety features on the Off-Campus Listing Service and to indicate their participation in the program on the complex’s website or other materials.
- On-going connection with University resources to maximize communication and mutual support.
- Opportunities for apartment management to participate in a workshop about Crime Prevention through Environmental Design.
**Participation in this program does not guarantee a resident or guest’s safety and participation in the program does not create an oversight relationship with the University. The program is intended to encourage landlords and students to utilize resources and best known practices to reduce risk and provide clear information on features provided by the property.
To participate in this program, please contact Off-Campus Living staff at [email protected].