Cape Coral crime rate drops 15.7 percent
Cape Coral saw a significant drop in crime in 2009 with a 15.7 percent decrease in serious crimes reported to the state, officials said Wednesday.
The decrease comes on the heels of a 9.4 percent reduction in 2008.
Cape Coral police reported 4,565 total index crimes in 2009, down from 5,417 crimes reported the previous year. These numbers are preliminary pending official review and confirmation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Index crimes are the major crimes reported on the Uniform Crime Report. These crimes are murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.
The index crime rate for Cape Coral dropped from 3,271 in 2008 to 2,803 reported this past year. An index crime rate is calculated for the number of index crimes per 100,000 residents. Cape Coral’s population in 2009 was 162,852.
“This is very encouraging news from a law enforcement perspective as our police officers work every day to prevent crime and protect our community,” said Cape Coral Police Chief Rob Petrovich in a prepared statement released Wednesday. “Despite difficult economic times, our citizens continue to provide their support and commitment in helping us keep Cape Coral as one of the state’s safest cities.”
All seven categories of major crimes decreased in 2009, city officials said.
Murder dropped 57 percent from seven deaths in 2008 to three this past year. Sex offenses declined 46.9 percent, dropping from 32 to 17. Motor vehicle thefts were down from 222 in 2008 to 174 last year, a 21.6 percent decrease. There were 2,792 larcenies reported, which was a 19.8 percent drop from the 3,482 in 2008. Burglaries fell 6.3 percent from 1,352 to 1,267, and aggravated assault went down 3.9 percent from 229 to 220. The city had one less robbery reported in 2009 (92) than 2008 (93).
In 2009, the total number of violent crimes dropped from 361 in 2008 to 332, an 8 percent decline. Property crimes dropped from 5,056 to 4,233, a decline of 16.2 percent.
“Our proactive initiatives, such as directed patrols, are helping to prevent crime and hold individuals accountable for their criminal behavior, leading to more arrests and crimes cleared,” said Petrovich. “However, our ability to continue to deliver the highest quality police services and maintain our proactive partnerships with the community will be challenged during these difficult budgetary times.”
— Source: Cape Coral Police Department