Date: February 02, 2004 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

 

Carrie Rodgers, (863) 534-6217 OR (863) 819-1856, Pager

Crime in Unincorporated Polk Continues To Decline

Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr., is pleased to announce that for the fourth year in a row, crime in unincorporated Polk County, over which the Polk County Sheriff's Office has jurisdiction, has decreased.  In 2003, overall crime went down 4% compared to the same time period in 2002.

Even more astounding, according to Uniform Crime Report (UCR) statistics reported annually to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, PCSO has seen a decrease in crime in every measured category compared to 1997, for an overall decrease of an incredible 40%.

From January-December 2003, compared to January-December 2002, crime in unincorporated Polk in several measured categories had decreases, some of them double-digit:

  Polk 2002 Polk 2003

   % Change 02-03

       
Homicide 20 16 -20%
Forced Sex 229 237 +4%
Robberies 206  182 -12% 
Agg Assault/Batt*  952 1111 +17%
Burglaries 3062  3086 +1%
Larcenies 6601 5983 -9%
Veh Thefts 945 884 -7%
TOTALS 12,015

11,499

-4%

    

  Polk 1997   Polk 2003  % Change 97-03
       
Homicide 20 16 -20%
Forced Sex 274 237 -14%
Robberies 413 182 -56%
Agg Assault/Batt* 1482 1111 -25%
Burglaries 5961 3086 -48%
Larcenies 8489 5983 -30%
Veh Thefts 2530 884 -41%
TOTALS 19,169 11,499 -40%

*Agg Assault/Batt = Aggravated Assault/Battery

Colonel Grady C. Judd, Jr., attributes these decreases to the success of the PROCAP (Proactive Community Attack on Problems) program. He said, "PROCAP began in January 1998. When we partner with the community and focus our collective resources on those who commit crime, we make a positive difference. We are excited that crime is down once again - at a 40% reduction - and the people are safer today than they have been in the last 31 years in unincorporated Polk County*. The jail population is up and crime is down. In addition, the amount of stolen property has been cut in half.  In 1997, we saw over $28 Million dollars' worth of property stolen - of that, we recovered $15 Million. In 2003, $15 Million dollars' worth was taken, and $7 Million was recovered."

*The crime rate -- that is, crimes per 1,000 residents -- for 2003 was 3.6%. That's 11,499 crimes per 318,835 residents in unincorporated Polk County. The crime rate has not been that low since 1972, when it was 3.35%.
 

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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