|Poor economy results in more criminal activity-Wakulla Times December 2011|
POOR ECONOMY RESULTS IN MORE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY
A weak economy in Wakulla County has resulted in an increase of criminal activity during the first six months of 2011 when compared to the same time period in 2010, according to statistics recently compiled for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) from the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office.
The statistics will become part of the FDLE’s 2011 Crime in Florida Semi-Annual Report. At the beginning of 2012, the FDLE will release a complete report for the calendar year 2011 which will create the state’s annual comparison.
Wakulla County’s index crime rate has gone up and down in the past seven years with a low of 517 index crimes reported in 2005 to a high of 840 in 2009. Wakulla County has had 431 index crimes reported in the first six months of 2011 putting it on a pace to be 18 percent higher than 2010 and slightly higher than the 2009 statistics.
Index crimes are listed as murder, sexual offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft. Within the index crime category are murder, sexual offenses, robbery and aggravated assault which are listed as violent crimes with the property crimes listed as non-violent.
Looking back to 2004, the FDLE index crime statistics have noted 647 crimes during that year. The numbers fluctuated to 617 in 2005; 684 in 2006; 750 in 2007; 737 in 2008; 840 in 2009; and 765 in 2010. Through six months in 2011, 431 index crimes have been reported.
While we never like to see the number of crimes increase from year to year, there is good news regarding the statistics. The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office cleared a significant number of cases in the first half of 2011 as 43.2 percent of our cases were cleared. The first half of 2010 the WCSO cleared 36.2 percent.
Index offense statistics showed that murders increased from 0 in the first half of 2010 to two in the first half of 2011. Forcible sex offenses increased from 13 to 18. Robbery cases remained at three for both 2010 and 2011. Aggravated assaults increased from 20 to 27. Burglaries increased from 70 to 93. Larceny increased from 245 to 281. Motor vehicle thefts decreased from 14 to seven. Of the 431 index crimes reported, 50 of them were violent crimes and 381 were non-violent.
There were 401 individuals arrested in Wakulla County during the first half of 2011 and 366 were adults and 35 were juveniles. Of the total, 306 were males and 95 were females.
A total of $396,231 worth of property was reported stolen and our office recovered $123,613 worth of property.
A full year analysis of our crime statistics will come from the state in a few months and they will also provide us with a statistical overview of how likely you will become a victim of an index crime compared to the state average and averages in other counties in Florida.
Statistically, Wakulla County has always maintained a low percentage chance of becoming a victim of an index crime which continues to make the county a very safe community in which to live.