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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Wilder, Scott

Director, Office of Communications 
News Date: 3/18/2016 

 2015 Polk Uniform Crime Report Data: Crime Down 5.42% in PCSO Jurisdiction 


According to Uniform Crime Report (UCR) statistics, as reported semi-annually and annually to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), there were 463 fewer crimes in 2015 than in 2014 in the Polk County Sheriff’s Office primary jurisdiction.  The jurisdiction includes all of unincorporated Polk County; cities contracted with the PCSO including Polk City, Frostproof, Eagle Lake, Fort Meade, Dundee, and Mulberry; and the town of Hillcrest Heights and the village of Highland Park.

There were 8,545 crimes in 2014 as compared to 8,082 crimes in 2015, a total reduction in reported crimes of 5.42%.  This decline continues a trend of seven consecutive years of lower crime and crime rates in PCSO’s jurisdiction. Crime declined 7.60% from 2013 to 2014.   

Non-Violent crime is down 7.07% in Polk’s unincorporated area and Sheriff’s Office contract cities. There were a total of 7,308 non-violent crimes in 2014 and 6,791 in 2015, a reduction of 517 crimes. 

Violent crime is up slightly in Polk’s unincorporated area and Sheriff’s Office contract cities. There were a total of 1,237 violent crimes in 2014 and 1,291 in 2015, an increase of 54 violent crimes. The number of homicides in 2014 was 4, the lowest number ever recorded for PCSO’s jurisdictions since reliable statistics have been gathered and reported (since 1971). There were 16 homicides in PCSO’s jurisdiction 2015. The PCSO Homicide Unit has a 100% clearance rate on all homicides committed in PCSO’s jurisdiction since June 2008. 

“Solving homicides, preventing crime, and keeping Polk County’s citizens safe, are our top three priorities. When we investigate a homicide, our detectives, crime scene investigators, crime analysts, and support staff work non-stop around the clock, to solve the crime as quickly as possible. I am very proud of the hard work and dedication of all our agency members who work together with our community to keep Polk County safe. We are committed to being proactive and keeping Polk County a great place to live, work, play, and visit.” - Sheriff Grady Judd 

There were decreases in the following crime categories: robberies; burglaries, and larcenies.  Overall crime was down 5.42% and the crime rate (crimes per 100 persons) is down 6.6%.

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

  

Category

2014

2015

Homicides

4

16

Forced Sex Offenses

94

126

Robberies

159

136

Aggravated Assaults

980

1,013

Burglaries

2,466

1,962

Larcenies

4,266

4,251

Motor Vehicle Thefts

576

578

TOTAL CRIMES

8,545

8,082

Polk crime rate is at historic low. 

Polk County's crime rate in the unincorporated areas and contract cities (for which the Polk County Sheriff’s Office is responsible) also dropped from 2014 to 2015, 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 6.6% from 2014 (2.10) to 2015 (1.96). This is the lowest crime rate ever measured in the Polk County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction, breaking the previous record low of 2.10 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 71%.  The Polk/PCSO crime rate is 43% less than the Florida state crime rate (1.96 compared to 3.45)[i]. 

[i] 2014 FDLE published state crime rate.