Thursday, January 30, 2014

Collier Crime Drops 5.7%

Crime dropped by 5.7 percent in Collier County in 2013, Sheriff Kevin Rambosk announced Thursday. 

The reduction is particularly impressive given the fact that Collier County was already one of the safest counties in Florida, Sheriff Rambosk said.

“When a community’s crime numbers are already low it can be a challenge to see a statistically significant reduction year over year,” Rambosk said. “Thanks to our community and the dedicated men and women of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office we were able to accomplish just that.”

The 5,246 Part 1 crimes reported in unincorporated Collier County and Everglades City in 2013 is the lowest annual crime number since 1985. It represents a reduction of 315 from the 5,561 crimes that were reported in 2012.

The statistics represent the categories of homicide, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.

The figures translate to a drop in the community’s crime rate, which is measured by the number of offenses being reported per 100,000 people. The 2013 crime rate was 1,763.3, which is down from 1,893.1 in 2012. The 2013 crime rate is the lowest crime rate since the agency began tracking it in 1971.

The low crime rate was achieved despite growth in the county’s population. The 2013 population of 297,512 is the county’s highest ever.

Robberies dropped by the greatest percentage in 2013, going down 26.7 percent from 146 in 2012 to 107 last year.

Burglaries also saw a dramatic reduction, plunging 19.2 percent from 1,224 in 2012 to 989 in 2013. Sheriff Rambosk attributed much of the drop to the agency’s proactive approach to combating burglars who come to Collier County from out of the area to commit crime. Arrests, along with high-visibility patrols in targeted areas helped create the reduction.

The other 2013 numbers break down as follows: Motor vehicle thefts dropped 6.5 percent from 230 in 2012 to 215 in 2013; sexual assaults went down 6.1 percent from 99 in 2012 to 93 in 2013; aggravated assaults went down .9 percent from 534 in 2012 to 529 in 2013; and larcenies dipped .6 percent from 3,322 in 2012 to 3,301 in 2013. The only category that experienced an increase was homicides, which went from six in 2012 to 12 in 2013. Arrests have been made in connection with 11 of the 12 homicides in 2013.

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