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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Eleazer, Carrie

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 2/4/2013 

 2012 crime rate is down 8.15% in Polk County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction 


 

Polk crime rate is at historic low.

 

Polk County's crime rate in the unincorporated areas and contract cities[i] (for which the Polk County Sheriff’s Office is responsible) dropped from 2011 to 2012, according to the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) statistics reported annually to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The crime rate, which is the number of crimes per 100 residents, is down 8.15% from 2011 (2.70) to 2012 (2.48). This is the lowest crime rate ever measured in the Polk County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction, breaking the previous record low of 2.70 crimes per 100 from last year. Reliable crime statistics in Polk County started in 1971, when the crime rate was recorded at 4.16 crimes per 100.

 Since 1997, the crime rate in Polk County has fallen by 62.9%

 

The Polk/PCSO crime rate is 39% less than the most recently published Florida state crime rate (2.48 compared to 4.07)[ii].  The Polk/PCSO violent crime rate is 46% lower than the state violent crime rate (.28 compared to .52).

 

According to the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) statistics, as reported semi-annually and annually to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), there were 867 fewer crimes in 2012 than in 2011 in the Sheriff’s Office primary jurisdiction. There were 10,761 crimes in 2011 as compared to 9,894 crimes in 2012, a total reduction in reported crimes of 8.06%.

 

Violent crime is down 11.49% in Polk’s unincorporated area and Sheriff’s Office contract cities. There were a total of 1,288 violent crimes in 2011 and 1,140 in 2012, a reduction of 148 crimes.

 

 

Crime in the Polk County unincorporated area and Sheriff’s Office contract cities:

 

 

Category

2011

2012

Difference

Homicides

12

19

58.33%

Forced Sex Offenses

136

118

-13.24%

Robberies

185

154

-16.76%

Aggravated Assaults

955

849

-11.10%

TOTAL VIOLENT

1,288

1,140

-11.49%

Burglaries

3,274

3,186

-2.69%

Larcenies

5,779

5,098

-11.78%

Motor Vehicle Thefts

420

470

11.90%

TOTAL NON-VIOLENT

9,473

8,754

-7.59%

TOTAL CRIMES

10,761

9,894

-8.06%

 

 

There are reasons why crime is low.

 

“There are two critically important reasons why crime remains low. The first reason is that we Floridians got serious about holding criminals accountable for their crimes in the 1990s. Since 1995, convicted criminals go to prison for a minimum of 85% of their sentence. We got tougher on violent crime and created minimum mandatory sentencing for some crimes. When people who break the law are punished—fairly, swiftly, and without apologies—our communities become safer. The second reason for lower crime rates is effective policing strategies. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office implemented its Proactive Community Attack on Problems (PROCAP) program in 1997. Since then, the crime rate has fallen by 62.9%!  PROCAP is a philosophy that emphasizes proactive strategies, focusing on problems, and working hand in hand with the community. Rather than reacting, we are focused on the systematic collection and analysis of crime tips and statistical data to determine where and when crime is occurring, and increasing law enforcement presence and formulating crime reduction strategies in identified areas to prevent future crimes. And our partnerships with citizens, organizations, and businesses have never been stronger—community involvement is a key part of our crime fighting and crime prevention strategies.” —Sheriff Grady Judd

 

 

[i] PCSO Contract Cities: Polk City, Frostproof, Eagle Lake, Ft. Meade, Dundee, and Mulberry.

[ii] 2011 FDLE published state crime rate (the 2012 rate has not yet been published).