Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Collier Crime Drops More Than 10% In 2012

Crime dropped more than 10 percent in Collier County in 2012, Sheriff Kevin Rambosk announced, citing strong partnerships with the community and a focus on safety education.

There were 5,561 Part 1 crimes reported in 2012. That number is down by 645, or 10.4 percent, from the 6,206 crimes reported in 2011. The statistics represent the categories of homicide, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.

The numbers, which the Collier County Sheriff’s Office has submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, represent crimes in unincorporated Collier County and Everglades City.

The figures translate to an impressive 12.9 percent drop in the community’s crime rate, which is measured by the number of offenses being reported per 100,000 people. The 2012 crime rate was 1,893.1, which was down from a crime rate of 2,173.2 in 2011.

“We continually reach out to our community, and these numbers show us that our community is listening and they are responding,” said Sheriff Kevin Rambosk. “People are securing their homes and belongings, and they are taking other appropriate measures to stay safe and help us keep crime low.”

The agency’s safety messages are presented in many forms, including its social media platforms, Crime Prevention events, Neighborhood Watch meetings and speaking engagements. CCSO also encourages community members to schedule a free home or business security survey.

Sheriff Rambosk also gave credit to the agency’s ongoing push asking people to report all crime to law enforcement.

“The more information we have, the better we are able to identify trends, develop suspects and stop criminals,” he said. “Our message to the community is that we want to hear from them.”

To help encourage the reporting of crime, Sheriff Rambosk implemented online crime reporting in 2010, so that people can report certain crimes from home or work on a computer. In addition, certain crime reports can be taken over the phone. Both of these methods offer convenience to the reporter and allow road deputies to continue to patrol neighborhoods.

The 2012 numbers break down as follows: Burglaries dropped 10.9 percent, from 1,373 in 2011 to 1,224 in 2012; larcenies dipped 9.8 percent, from 3,683 in 2011 to 3,322 in 2012; aggravated assaults went down 15 percent, from 628 in 2011 to 534 in 2012; robberies dropped 29.8 percent, from 208 in 2011 to 146 in 2012; sexual assaults dropped 10.8 percent, from 111 in 2011 to 99 in 2012; and homicides went down by a third, dropping from nine in 2011 to six in 2012. The only category that showed an increase was motor vehicle thefts, which went up 18.6 percent from 194 in 2011 to 230 in 2012.

Here are some of the ways citizens can help deputies drive down crime:

* Lock your car and keep valuables out of view

* Call 239.252.0700 to schedule a home or business security survey by a CCSO Crime Prevention specialist

* Report unusual activity to law enforcement

* Start or join a Neighborhood Watch program

* Mentor a child

* Be alert and aware of your surroundings

* Join one of CCSO’s Community Safety Teams to help address code enforcement and other problems at the neighborhood level

* Protect personal information like your Social Security number, computer passwords and banking information.

* When online, don’t chat with strangers or respond to their e-mails

Click here to see the Part 1 crime numbers.