JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The crime rate in Jacksonville dropped by 1.6% in 2019 when compared to the previous year, according to data released Friday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
The city saw fewer robberies, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts and larceny in 2019, according to FDLE statistics, but there were increases last year in the number of murders, rapes and aggravated assaults.
In 2018, there were 112 murders in Jacksonville. That number jumped to 131 in 2019, an increase of 17%. The 2019 total is the highest recorded murder total the city has seen over the last 20 years, according to an analysis by News4Jax.
The number of reported rapes (584) increased by 4% and the number of reported aggravated assaults (4,041) increased by 13% in Duval County in 2019.
FDLE calculates the crime rate by adding up the number of crimes committed per 100,000 people. In Duval County, which had a population of 970,672 in 2019, the crime rate was 3,885. Only Bay County, located in Florida’s Panhandle, had a higher crime rate in the state last year (3,905).
Some Northeast Florida counties saw big drops in crimes tracked by FDLE last year.
The crime rate in Putnam County decreased by 25.6% while rates in Flagler County (-19.4%), Nassau County (-16.9%), St. Johns County (-15.7%), Clay County (-8.8%) and Columbia County (-4.6%) also dropped.
Rates in Bradford County (+13%) and Baker County (+1.2%) increased.
The crime rate in Union County, a county with a population of 15,505, increased by 33%.
FDLE warns that percent changes in number and rate should be interpreted with caution. In small counties with low numbers of crime, a small increase in crime can produce a large percent change, FDLE said.
Last year, the crime rate (2,551 crimes per 100,000 people) in Florida decreased by 6.3%, marking the 49th consecutive year the state has seen a drop in its crime rate, FDLE said. The report also shows a 4.6% decrease of total index crimes, with 26,128 fewer reported offenses compared to 2018.
FDLE began tracking crime statistics in 1971.
View the complete statewide report here.