Each year, Florida and most of the rest of the states in this great union come out with the Uniform Crime Report. Virtually every year since Billy the Kid was shot in the back, Florida and the rest of the nation have reported a reduction in crime.
Somehow this never translates into a reduced need for law enforcement and prosecutors — but crime is forever going down. The few media outlets who have studied the issue, generally have found questionable reporting tactics used to maximize state and federal grant eligibility. If you get a grant to fight crime, after all, the grantors want to see crime going down before you get your next check.
Our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys note this year is no different. Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced this week that crime dropped 6.7 percent last year.
“It’s clear that public safety is a Florida priority,” said Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “I applaud the work of our chiefs, sheriffs and state law enforcement; our partnerships have been instrumental in bringing the crime rate to record lows.”
Murders dropped 2.9 percent, forcible sex offenses were down 3.3 percent, robberies were down 15.6 percent, aggravated assault decreased 8.9 percent, burglary dropped 7 percent, larceny was down 4.4 percent, auto theft was down 17.5 percent and domestic violence was down 2.7 percent.
What they don’t report is that Broward County has one of the 5 lowest clearance rates for major crimes in the state at 20.9 percent. In fact Miami-Dade (18.1 percent) and Palm Beach (21.1 percent) are also among the counties with the lowest clearance rates. In other words, only about 1 in 5 major crimes — murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and auto theft — were cleared based on 2009 date (which gives them the benefit of the doubt that not all of 2010 cases have been fully investigated).
Broward County (3.1 percent reduction)
Murder: 63 Forcible Rape: 439 Robbery: 3,137 Aggravated Assault: 4,958 Burglary: 17,354 Larceny: 46,243 Auto Theft: 4,717
Palm Beach County (11.3 percent reduction)
Murder: 83 Forcible Rape: 345 Robbery: 2,018 Aggravated Assault: 4,546 Burglary: 11,534 Larceny: 31,827 Auto Theft: 2,812
Florida’s crime clock looks like this:
-A larceny occurs every 1 minute.
-Burglary occurs every 3 minutes.
-Aggravated Assault occurs every 8 minutes.
-Auto theft occurs every 13 minutes.
-Robbery every 20 minutes.
-Forcible sex offense every 53 minutes.
-A murder every 8 hours and 53 minutes.
-Forcible Rape every 1 & 38 minutes.