Crime Stats in Florida

Preliminary numbers just released by the FBI show crime in America is down, and crime in Florida is down six times more overall.

The governor hails the stats and the safety it implies for residents and visitors in Florida, but even law enforcement officers say not so fast.

Saturday morning, a woman in blue jeans and a ball cap strolled into a Bank of America branch and proceeded to rob it. New stats from the FBI show violent crimes like robbery, rape and murder are down by 1.4 percent, and in Florida they're down significantly more.

"We're going to predict we're going to see the same types of stats reflected in Tallahassee that we're seeing in Florida and the nation. They have a tendency to mirror each other,” says Scott Hunt, Tallahassee Police Spokesman.

When it comes to property crimes like burglaries and car thefts, those held steady nationwide according to FBI, but in Florida, those are down too.

While Tallahassee police hail the numbers as good news and proof of performance, they say citizens should not read too much into them.

"People should not become too complacent when they're down or too excited when they go back up because they have a tendency to even out over time," Hunt says.

Hunt says a burgeoning number of 16 to 24 year olds in Florida bodes for a higher crime rate in the years ahead, and those who counsel victims of crime note a trend toward violence that occurs not on the mean streets, but at home.

"Once a person is touched by crime, numbers really don't matter, because when it happens to you, as I've said, it impacts your entire life. So, the numbers are down, that's
wonderful, but as long as crime is affecting people it becomes very personal and a number is just a number," says Lisa Pontoriero, victim’s advocate.

Florida is enjoying its lowest crime rate in 30 years, which the governor credits to better policing and tougher penalties like Three-Strikes and 10-20-Life.