The crime rate in those areas patrolled by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office decreased in 2012, according to a report released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. FDLE tracks Major Index Crimes on a yearly basis for all counties and municipalities. Major Index Crimes include murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny (theft), and vehicle theft.
“We are proud to say our crime rate continues to go down due in large part to the strong partnership our agency has with the community,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “Our deputies and detectives work hard to keep our community safe and they do a great job, but their job would be much harder without the help of everyone who lives, works and visits the Florida Keys.”
The crime rate in Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction has consistently gone down on a yearly basis since the early 1990s. The number of crimes is now more than half that of the rate in 1991. In 2012, the rate decreased by 3.4% from 2011.
Overall, the change was spread out over all the index crimes. There was a significant decrease in larceny crimes, with small increases in burglary, aggravated assault and robbery. Murders went from one in 2011 to two in 2012. Rape remained the same.
“We are particularly pleased because we saw our clearance rate for crimes increase,” said Sheriff Ramsay. “Clearing crimes in a county with as many visitors as we have is very difficult sometimes. Victims go home and are hard to find, suspects are often from another jurisdiction. Many crimes go unreported for long periods because we have so many part time residents.”
There are two ways to clear a case: by arrest, or "Cleared by Exception", which means an offender has been identified but there is something beyond the agency's control which keeps that offender from being arrested. An example would be that the offender is dead, extradition is denied, or the case involves a juvenile offender who cannot be charged for some reason.