JSO map shows city's crime hotspots

City, police work to target high crime areas

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – New statistics released by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office show where crime is worst in the River City and where police will be targeting.

The map shows property crimes and violent crimes in Jacksonville for the last 90 days. There's a lot of crime in Northwest Jacksonville, and it's also creeping into Arlington, specifically near the north end of University Boulevard.

Chunks of the Westside and Murray Hill are high on the list, on the Westside namely near where 103rd intersects Lane Avenue.

The city is focusing on cleaning up those areas.

City Councilwoman Denise Lee chairs Jacksonville's blight committee, targeting neighborhoods where there's everything from garbage on the ground to abandoned buildings to crime.

"I want to show that this is where it is, this is where we need to put our resources," Lee said.

Lee requested seeing maps on where the crime is, and JSO provided them, showing the crime hotspots.

"When you cross the river, you can see it trickling into Arlington," Lee said. "But when you go down to the southeast part, you don't see as much. You see crime but not as much.

"(Our goal is) to prove that the sheriff definitely needs more resources and bodies. Because as you know, this week, last week there's been a rash of different incidents, whether it's murder, robbery or kidnapping."

Lee and others want resources sent to places like Grand Park and around the Eureka Gardens apartment complex.

"If you tend to your business, go in the house, do what you do, you don't bother no one," said one woman who lives at the complex but didn't want to be identified. "But if you go out of your house socializing with everybody, in everybody's business, that's how you get yourself into stuff. ... It could be better everywhere. We all have to work as one."

News4Jax crime analyst Gil Smith has been talking to members of the Sheriff's Office who say they have put more officers in crime hotspots like where Arlington Road meets Arlington Expressway.

"(That means putting) more (cops) on the streets, but they isolate and focus on specific problems," Smith said. "Now the numbers are high, which your maps show, but since May, the numbers have gone down."

An interesting thing the blight committee found was that low-crime areas have neighborhood associations and crime watches, while high crime areas almost never have one.

"Where there's an active neighborhood watch to help reduce crime, the problems seem to go away or decrease significantly," Smith said.

Some members of the blight committee are considering strong measures. Lee is focusing on the Eureka Gardens Apartments and may push to have the federal government pull any cheap housing vouchers to the complex if they don't increase security.

Meanwhile, crime continues to fall across Florida, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's 2014 Semi-Annual Uniform Crime Report. The report shows Florida's crime volume dropped 2.4 percent or 8,133 fewer crimes committed this year compared to the first six months of 2013.

"Florida is on a path to a 44-year crime low, which is great news for Florida families, communities and visitors," Gov. Rick Scott said. "It is thanks to the hard work of our brave law enforcement officials that Florida is reaching these historic crime lows, and we'll continue working to keep Florida a great and safe place to find opportunities, raise a family and live the American dream."

For a look a county-by-county statistics, go to the FDLE's website.

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