By: Matt Horn
November 19, 2013
New crime statistics show Florida is becoming a safer state– reaching historic lows. Although overall crime numbers continue to drop, some crimes are up.
While Florida’s population is at record highs– the number of crimes are at record lows.
“I want to thank everybody in law enforcement for all their hard work in making sure that this is a great, safe state,” said Governor Rick Scott, (R) Florida.
In the first six months of 2013 crime has declined by 5.2 percent. Murder was down by more than 10 percent. Despite a high profile debate on guns, The number of murders with a firearm showed the largest decrease – while stabbing murders had the largest increase.
“This is the first time we’ve been able to present an annual or mid-term report where every single category showed a reduction,” said Gerald Bailey, Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
“Vehicle theft has also decreased to a little less than 17,000, and of that number a little less than half were recovered.
Crimes in Florida spiked during the 80’s and 90’s before starting to decline. Rick Scott says the lower number of crimes will make Florida more appealing for everyone.
“Everybody that lives in our state, the 19.2 million people who live here, they want to live in a safe place,” said Governor Scott.
Florida’s statistics mirror national trends. A Pew Report – found firearm homicides down by nearly half nationally since 1993. Technology is part of the reason.
“The services they have available to them now with the information, the forensics, the investigative help that are offered by state agencies,” said Bailey.
Overall there were 20,000 fewer crimes reported in the first six months of this year over last
Burglary also had another steep decline. It happened nearly 10 percent less than in 2012.
News Release: Governor's Office
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, during a meeting with Governor Scott and the Florida Cabinet, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey today released the 2013 Semi-Annual Uniform Crime Report. The report shows Florida’s crime volume dropped 5.2 percent compared to the first six months of 2012.
Governor Scott said, “Our communities are on a path to a 43 year crime low, which improves the quality of life for families and benefits all aspects of our communities. This 5.2 percent drop in crime sends a signal to the rest of the world that Florida is a great place to find opportunities and a raise a family. We’ll continue working in close partnership with law enforcement officials to make Florida communities even safer.”
Attorney General Pam Bondi said, "Our hardworking, selfless law enforcement officers have continued to make Florida a safer place for residents and visitors. In 2012, Florida's crime rate was at a 42-year low, and today's semi-annual report shows that our crime rate is continuing this downward trend. As we enjoy safer communities in which to live, work, and raise our families, let us always keep the law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty in our thoughts and prayers."
According to the report, the number of violent crimes (murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery and aggravated assault) was down by 3.5 percent. The report showed a 10.6 percent drop in murders, a 2 percent decrease in robberies and a 4.2 percent decrease in aggravated assault. Non-violent crime (burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft) fell 5.5 percent. Burglary and larceny are down 9.5 percent and 3.7 percent respectively. The number of motor vehicle thefts decreased by 9.6 percent.
“These numbers reflect historic lows,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “Law enforcement is working hard to make Florida a safe place to live, work and play.”
Domestic violence offenses continued to decline in the first half of 2013, showing a 1.7 percent drop when compared to the first half of 2012. Cohabitants continue to be the largest group of victims in this category, with spouses remaining the second largest group.
The report also contains information on officers killed feloniously. One law enforcement officer died from criminal causes and one law enforcement officer died from accidental causes while on duty during the first half of 2013.
“The results of the 2013 Semi-Annual Crime Report are testimony to the dedication and hard work of deputy sheriffs and law enforcement officers all over the state and the effectiveness of sending deserving criminals to prison, and keeping them away from innocent victims,” said Polk County Sheriff and FSA President Grady Judd. “The Florida Sheriffs Task Force is one way we make a difference, most recently with our four-week long Operation Safe Families, which resulted in 5,544 arrests targeting domestic violence to help keep our children and families safe.”
“It is encouraging to see decreases in every crime category,” said Florida Police Chiefs Association President Springfield Chief Philip Thorne. “Keeping our communities safe is the top priority of police chiefs across Florida and we are seeing the results of our efforts.”
“We are pleased to see that overall domestic violence crimes declined slightly the first six months of 2013 and look forward to continuing to work with our partners in the law enforcement community to keep domestic violence survivors and their children safe and hold perpetrators accountable,” said Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence President and CEO Tiffany Carr.
The complete 2013 Semi-Annual Uniform Crime Report, including county-by-county breakdowns, can be found on FDLE’s website at www.fdle.state.fl.us/fsac/ucr/.
FDLE began tracking crime statistics in 1971.