|FDLE crime statistics note a reduction in violent and non-violent crime in Wakulla|
CRIME RATE FALLS AND WAKULLA RANKS AS ONE OF SAFEST COUNTIES
FDLE RELEASES CRIME STATISTICS-WAKULLA DOWN 17.9 PERCENT
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has released 2013 index crime statistics for Wakulla County and the county has experienced a 17.9 percent drop in index crimes from 2012 to 2013. Index crimes include: murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.
FDLE also released a crime comparison of all 67 counties and Wakulla County ranked eighth best in the state for reduction of crime rate from 2012 to 2013 making the county one of the safest in Florida. The crime statistics create a crime rate percentage per 100,000 residents to allow a comparison of all 67 counties.
• Wakulla County did not have any murders in 2012 or in 2013.
• The number of forcible sex offenses declined from 31 in 2012 to 17 in 2013 or a 45.2 percent decrease. All of the sex offenses were down as forcible rapes dropped from 14 to 10 and forcible fondling dropped from 17 to seven. There were no cases of forcible sodomy in 2012 or 2013.
• Robberies remained the same as there were four reported in 2012 and four reported in 2013.
• Aggravated assaults dropped by one as 57 were reported in 2012 and 56 were reported in 2013.
• Burglaries dropped sharply as 149 were reported in 2012 and 102 were reported in 2013 or a 31.5 percent drop.
• Larceny cases dropped from 513 in 2012 to 435 in 2013 or a 15.2 percent drop. The largest number of larceny cases was reported from motor vehicles. In 2013, 104 larceny cases stemmed from motor vehicle thefts. The second largest number came from buildings at 72 cases. Larceny cases went down in every type of incident except motor vehicle theft cases. Building larcenies went down 33.3 percent.
• The only area where Wakulla County saw an index crime increase was in motor vehicle thefts. There were 22 motor vehicle thefts in 2012 and 23 in 2013 or a 4.5 percent increase.
A review of domestic violence offenses showed a 15 percent decrease from 2012 to 2013 as 80 cases were reported in 2012 and 68 were reported in 2013. FDLE lists $238,674 worth of stolen property being recovered by the WCSO out of a total of $734,778 worth of property stolen.
Three out of the last five years Wakulla County has seen a reduction in the total number of index crimes, but 2013 was the lowest number of crimes reported with 637. In the previous four years at least 765 index crimes were reported.
In domestic violence cases, the 68 cases included 20 that were cohabitants to the offender, 12 were children of the offender, 11 were spouses of offenders, nine were parents, eight were other family members, five were siblings, and three were listed as other.
In vehicle recovery cases nine were stolen locally and recovered locally while eight were stolen locally and recovered by another jurisdiction.
Sheriff Charlie Creel said the reasons behind the improvements include “a better line of communication between the various divisions within the agency.” He also credited the success to “keeping a closer eye on county ‘hot spots’ when they are identified” for a particular incident and increasing patrols in that area. Saturation patrols have been used to fight motorists who are impaired and underage drinking incidents.
While not considered by the FDLE as an index crime, Sheriff Creel said Wakulla County recorded 236 driving while license is suspended or revoked (DWLSR) arrests in 2013. Many of the individuals who have been stopped for DWLSR do not possess vehicle insurance which puts the burden on the insured public when an uninsured motorist gets into a traffic crash.
Wakulla County’s crime rate percentage improved from 2012 to 2013 as it became 18.2 percent less likely for residents to become victims of crimes. The ranking placed Wakulla County behind only Bradford, Calhoun, Franklin, Gilchrist, Indian River, Lafayette and Levy counties for lowering crime rates.
The State of Florida recorded a 3.8 percent decline in index crimes when comparing 2012 with 2013. The state also had a 4.7 percent reduction in its crime rate. Wakulla County cleared 33 percent of its cases in 2013. The state average was 26 percent.
Governor Scott said, “Today we have more good news for families. Even while Florida’s population grows, the total number of crimes continues to drop, which is a testament to our brave men and women who serve in our communities each and every day. Florida is now at a 43-year crime low. Our lower crime rate means that not only are our families and communities safer, but Florida is in a better position to create more opportunities for Floridians. This drop in crime shows everyone that Florida really is the best place to raise a family.”
“Making Florida a safe place to live, work, and raise a family is my main goal, and thanks to the hard work of our superior law enforcement officers and prosecutors, we have the lowest crime rate in 43 years. I am grateful to all of the public servants who work tirelessly to make our communities safer. Their work has made a tremendous difference, as evidenced by a crime rate that has dropped for the past three consecutive years,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.
“It is noteworthy, that while our population continues to increase, overall crime continues to decrease,” said Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “My thanks to Florida’s dedicated law enforcement professionals for making this a better place to live.”