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Crime rates drop again

By Staff | Oct 22, 2011

While Cape Coral and Lee County only saw a drop in violent crimes reported during the first half of the year, crime overall decreased statewide.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released Friday the results of the 2011 Semi-Annual Uniform Crime Report. From January through June, crime in Florida declined by 2 percent compared to the same time last year.

Violent crimes – murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery and aggravated assault – is down by 3.2 percent for the first half of 2011. Non-violent ones – burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft – decreased by 1.8 percent.

“The decrease in crime volume is yet another sign that Florida is a safe state, and we are open for business,” Gov. Rick Scott wrote in a prepared statement.

Scott commended the state’s law enforcement agencies and residents “for their commitment and dedication to keeping Floridians and visitors” safe.

In July, the Cape Coral Police Department and Lee County Sheriff’s Office released their results, which were turned over to FDLE for the final report.

Overall crime in the Cape rose by 6 percent during the first half of 2011, with violent crimes dropping 14 percent, and non-violent jumping 7 percent.

Lee County reported a 2 percent rise in crime overall for the same period. Violent crimes decreased 15 percent, while non-violent increased 4 percent.

According to the FDLE report released Friday, the number of murders statewide declined by 3.1 percent for the first half this year. Robberies dropped by 4.3 percent, while aggravated assaults dipped 3.4 percent.

Officials reported that forcible sex offenses increased 1.1 percent.

In the Cape, there was one homicide, six sex offenses, 26 robberies and 94 aggravated assaults in the first six months of the year. In 2010, there were two homicides, 16 sex offenses, 38 robberies and 98 aggravated assaults.

There were five murders, 85 forced sex crimes, 169 robberies and 391 aggravated assaults in Lee County in the first six months of 2011. There were seven murders, 101 forced sex crimes and 190 robberies in 2010.

There were also 406 total aggravated assault and stalking incidents.

For non-violent offenses statewide, motor vehicle thefts saw the largest decrease in 2010 – 9.4 percent – compared to the same period last year. Burglaries dropped by 1.6 percent, and larcenies declined by 1.2 percent.

The CCPD reported 1,423 larcenies, 506 burglaries and 50 motor vehicle thefts in the first six months of the year. In 2010, there 1,260 larcenies, 512 burglaries and 62 motor vehicle thefts reported in the Cape in 2010.

Within Lee County, there were 3,152 larcenies, 1,658 burglaries and 219 motor vehicle thefts during the first half of 2011. Last year, there were 2,914 larcenies, 1,621 burglaries and 307 motor vehicle thefts reported.

The FDLE reported released Friday includes data submitted by 409 of the 416 law enforcement agencies in Florida, which represents 99.2 percent of the population. Florida’s crime rate will be calculated in the annual report.

“These first six month’s results are a strong indicator of what we will see for 2011, and the downward trend of Florida’s crime numbers is a positive sign,” FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey wrote in the prepared statement.

“We’re aggressively working to safeguard our streets and communities,” Bailey added.