Florida's crime rate drops in first half of 2013

By Steve Patirck, Managing editor of digital content, and News Service of Florida
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida's crime rate dropped 5.2 percent during the first half of 2013, compared to the same period during the previous year, according to a report released Tuesday.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement data shows the crime rate also dropped in most northeast Florida counties, with rates in Alachua, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and Union counties dropping by an even larger percentage than the state average. (See chart at bottom of this article.)

Gov. Rick Scott touted the declines, which included a 10.6 percent drop in murders, a 9.6 percent drop in motor-vehicle thefts and a 9.5 percent drop in burglaries.

"Here's why it's so important, everybody that lives in our state, the 19.2 million people that live here, they want to live in a safe place,'' Scott said after a Cabinet meeting. "The people who want to come here as tourists, they come here because we have a safe state."

FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said the report was the first time an annual or semi-annual crime report showed a reduction in "every single category."

Other categories of crimes included in the report are forcible sex offenses, robberies, aggravated assaults and larcenies.

Crime in Northeast Florida counties, first six months of 2013:

Crimes  MurderRapeRobberyAggravated

2012 to 2013

Alachua County4,45954895544772 -9.4
Baker County231000366150
Bradford County2631445363105.5
Clay County2,32213752295350-9.2
Columbia County  1,33427191933772.1
Duval County19,545332706511,6993,555-6.0
Flagler County1,0703113194229-3.2
Nassau County671131042183-6.2
Putnam County1,49311617193373-12.7
St. Johns County2,3632828220443-4.4
Union County860111623-14.9
Statewide340,392    4283,44311,02630,35368,319-5.2

Source: FDLE semi-annual county-by-county crime report

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