February 8, 2017

Crime Rate down again in 2016

Preliminary numbers compiled by the Sheriff’s Office show a continuing decrease in crime of 15.6% for 2016 in Monroe County. These numbers are being reported to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. FDLE compiles all such statistics for the state of Florida each year.

This decrease is for all areas of Monroe County excluding the city of Key West. The Key West Police Department submits their own similar report to FDLE.

The Sheriff’s Office saw burglary go down by 12.4%; larceny crimes, which include theft, shoplifting, theft from a motor vehicle and bicycle thefts, went down by 19.9%

“Traditionally, property crimes like burglary and theft are a particular area of concern for us,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “Our tourist and transient economy lends itself to these types of crimes and we are very happy to see these numbers continue to drop.”

Some violent crimes saw an increase and others decreased;  crimes like murder, rape and robbery occur in extremely low numbers in Monroe County, so a difference of just a few crimes can make a big difference in percentage of increase or decrease from year to year. Murder went from 2 in 2015 to 1 in 2016; rape was reported 17 times in 2015 and 21 times in 2016; 10 robberies were reported in 2015 and 15 in 2016. Aggravated assaults – which happen more frequently – decreased by 17 percent in 2016, going from 171 in 2015 to 142 in 2016.

The clearance rate of crimes in 2016 was 31.2%. This has improved over the 2015 rate of 30.7%.

“The clearance rate of crimes is of particular significance to me and I continue to emphasize its importance to all our members who work in the field,” said Sheriff Ramsay. “The fact that this number continues to improve shows we are putting the criminals in jail where they belong, where they can’t prey on our law abiding citizens and visitors,” he said.

This solve rate on crimes has improved steadily over the past few years. In 2012, the clearance rate stood at 24.2%. It has gotten better each year since then.

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 from another jurisdiction is denied, or the case involves a juvenile offender who cannot be charged for some reason.

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