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Crime numbers down around county

By Staff | Sep 1, 2015

Crime in Cape Coral – both violent and non-violent offenses – was down for the first half of this year compared to the first six months of 2014.

The Cape Coral Police Department, along with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Fort Myers Police Department, recently released its Semi-Annual Uniform Crime Report. Certified by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the statistics released are used to calculate the Index Crime Rate.

“Mid-year crime statistics for Cape Coral show a steady decrease in crime,” Sgt. Dana Coston, spokesman for the CCPD, said via a prepared statement on Friday.

Violent crime decreased 1.7 percent compared to last year, 114 offenses from 116 offenses. Violent crimes are homicides, sex offenses, aggravated assaults and robberies, according to the report.

There were 103 violent offenses reported in the first half of 2013.

Non-violent crime also declined during the first six months of this year – 1,552 offenses compared to 1,630 in 2014, or 4.8 percent. Non-violent offenses are burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle thefts.

There were 1,611 non-violent crimes in the first half of 2013.

Comparing the first six months, the Cape saw an uptick this year in sex offenses and robberies. There were seven sex offenses and 22 robberies, as opposed to five sex offenses and 18 robberies in 2014.

The biggest dip was seen in homicides – two in 2014, zero this year. Motor vehicle thefts had a 20.2 percent decrease from last year, while burglaries experienced a 10 percent drop.

The total number of offenses fell from 1,746 in 2014 to 1,666, or 4.6 percent.

“We are proud of the hard-working men and women of the Cape Coral Police Department and of the assistance and cooperation of our citizens,” Police Chief Bart Connelly said via the statement.

“We continue to enjoy historically low crime, and our city continues to be one of the safest places in Florida to raise a family, start a business or to take a vacation,” he said.

“That said, there is still work to be done and our personnel are committed to working to keep 2015 one of the safest years on record.”

As for other area law enforcement agencies, the LCSO and the FMPD also reported a decrease in total offenses from year-to-year during the first six months. The county had 4,397 violent and non-violent offenses compared to 4,629 last year, while Fort Myers had 1,347 offenses, down from 1,491 offenses in 2014.

The LCSO saw a 14.54 percent rise in violent crime, from 674 crimes in 2014 to 772. The FMPD, however, noted a decline like in the Cape – 370 crimes last year to 340, or a 8.1 percent drop.

Both Lee County and Fort Myers reported a decrease in non-violent crime. The LCSO had 3,955 crimes this year compared to 3,625 in 2014, and Fort Myers had 1,007 compared to 1,121 last year.

“The numbers are promising, however, we strive for even further reductions as we move forward,” interim Fort Myers Police Chief Dennis Eads said in a recent prepared statement. “These statistics are a direct reflection of the hard working men and women at the Fort Myers Police Department.”

Comparing the first six months, the LCSO saw an uptick this year in sex offenses and aggravated assaults or stalkings. One of the biggest drops was homicides, from 11 in 2014 to 10 this year.

The FMPD reported no increases in any areas during the first half of this year. The biggest decreases from 2014 were experienced in homicides – from seven to six crimes – thefts and robberies.