Florida crime down in first half of 2017

Rate varies by county; biggest decrease in Putnam, spike in Union

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Crime fell across Florida in the first half of 2017, according to the Semi-Annual Uniform Crime Report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, although the rate varies widely between individual counties.

While there were more than 6,000 fewer crimes reported in Florida in the first sixth months of the year -- a 2 percent drop -- overall crime was nearly flat in Duval and St. Johns counties, marginally higher in Alachua and Bradford counties and there was a spike in Union County, although due to the small number of crimes in the rural county, the overall number of crimes was not that high.

Crime was in the first half of the year was down significantly in Putnam County and Nassau counties, noticeably in Baker, Clay, Columbia and Flagler counties.

The crimes of murder, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and larceny were down statewide while the crimes of rape and motor vehicle theft increased.  Domestic violence fell 1 percent, with domestic violence murder and aggravated assault down while rape and stalking were up.

"Floridians and visitors are the safest they’ve been in nearly a half-century and we will continue to fully support our law enforcement members as they work to make the Sunshine State the safest place to raise a family," Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement accompanying the FDLE release.

The UCR calculates crime volume, the number of index crimes known to law enforcement.  The report, including county-by-county breakdowns, can be found on FDLE’s website.

FDLE has tracked crime statistics since 1971.