Florida’s crime rate drops but rape and murder are on the rise
Despite a 9% reduced crime rate statewide, Florida in 2018 saw an uptick in murders and rapes, according to statistics released Monday.
The fall in the state’s crime rate is inline with a 48-year trend of fewer robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies and car thefts, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s annual crime report.
According to the report, violent crimes were down 4.2% throughout the state while property crimes fell 7.9%.
Burglaries and robberies were the crimes that saw the biggest reductions statewide, 19.1% and 9.3% respectively.
The state had 502 more rapes and 50 more murders in 2018 than in 2017, which largely held true in the South Florida counties of Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade.
Broward County had 96 murders in 2018, one more than the year before, and 628 rapes for an increase of 49, the report showed.
While Palm Beach County had one fewer murder, or 91 instead of 92, it saw rapes rise from 550 to 566.
Miami-Dade County had an increase of 10 murders for a total of 198, and 42 more rapes for a total of 916.
Safe cities and streets come at a price, Attorney General Ashley Moody said in a prepared statement. That price was paid last year by the 11 law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty, she said.
“Florida is a stronger, safer state because of the men and women of law enforcement who face danger every day to protect their communities,” Moody said. “I am deeply grateful for all they do to keep the state’s crime rate trending downward, but we must not forget that this 48-year drop in crime comes at a tremendous cost.”
South Florida’s counties mirrored the statewide trend that showed drops in crimes other than rape and murder.
Broward’s countywide crime-rate drop was 10.8%, Palm Beach’s was 12.3% and Miami-Dade’s was 7.4%, the report showed.
The Broward city with the most murders was Fort Lauderdale with 12.
The small municipality of Parkland, because of the 17 killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on Feb. 14, 2018, was the Broward city with the second most murders last year, the report said.
The third most murders in Broward County were the 13 in Lauderhill.
The cities with the most rapes in Broward were Pompano Beach with 91, followed by 73 in Fort Lauderdale and 23 in Lauderhill, the report showed.
Here are crime figures for some of Broward’s larger cities:
Fort Lauderdale had the most reported robberies (350), aggravated assaults (563), burglaries (1,366), larcenies (6,814) and car thefts (870).
Pompano Beach had the second most robberies (312), aggravated assaults (467), burglaries (608) and car thefts (578). Pompano Beach also had the third most larcenies with 3,121.
Aside from rapes, Lauderhill also had the third most robberies (137) and aggravated assaults (350).
Hollywood was the city with the second most larcenies (3,253) and it had the third most burglaries (520) and car thefts (578).
Here are crime figures for some Palm Beach County communities:
West Palm Beach had the most murders with 27 and it tied with the municipalities covered by PBSO with 354 robberies each.
West Palm Beach had the second most rapes (77), aggravated assaults (568), burglaries (578), larcenies (3,290) and car thefts (381).
The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, which serves a large population among the municipalities it serves, carried the most rapes (233), aggravated assaults (1,081), burglaries (1,420), larcenies (8,244) and car thefts (1,090) and the second most murders (23), the report showed.
Riviera Beach with 9 had the third most murders in Palm Beach County.
Lake Worth with 39 had the third most rapes in the county.
Lake Worth and Boynton Beach tied with the third most robberies (134), while Riviera Beach also had the third most aggravated assaults (321).
In Palm Beach County, Delray Beach had the third most burglaries with 279.
Boynton Beach had the third most larcenies (2,423) and car thefts (285).
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Republished by the Law Office of Scott A. Ferris, P.A.