Crime Rate Down in Florida

A new report shows Florida is a safer place to live, and it includes Tallahassee despite a record number of murders in the last year. A mid-year report released Tuesday by FDLE showed a better than 11 percent decrease in crime in Leon County alone.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released the 2004 semi-annual report of Florida's crime statistics Tuesday. From January to June, the overall crime reported in Florida decreased 2.3 percent compared to last year's report.

Tom Berlinger, spokesperson for FDLE, says, "Not only is the crime down by a percentage, but in real terms it's like 10,000 less crime reported in Florida during this time last year, so we're very thrilled."

Although the number of murders in Leon County increased from four to six this year there is still an 11.2 percent overall crime rate decrease in Leon County.

In surrounding areas, Lafayette County is the only county in north Florida with an increase in its crime rate showing a 341 percent increase; 75 crimes this reporting period, compared to 17 in the previous. All other counties showed a crime rate decrease.

John Newland, Public Information Officer for TPD, says, "We still attribute everything to the citizens of this community and getting involved with crime that's going on. If they see something very suspicious, they're not hesitant to pick up and call anymore."

A perfect example is two burglars were arrested at the beginning of October when a neighbor called police to report that they spotted the stolen goods.

FDLE noted declines in rape, robbery, burglary and car thefts, but the number of murders is up and most of them were committed with guns.