The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released their semi-annual Uniform Crime Report on Tuesday showing major crime volume dropped for the state as a whole, but increased in the Orlando area. The report measures “index crimes” including murder, sex offenses, robbery, assault, vehicle theft and burglary among others.
Across Florida, the volume of violent crimes decreased 3.5% for the first six months of 2013 compared to the same period of 2012. Non-violent crimes decreased 5.5%.
In central Florida, however, Orange and Seminole Counties showed increases in these numbers. Orange County experienced a 1% increase in the occurrence of index crimes while Seminole County is dealing with a 3.6%
Orlando continually has one of the highest crime rates in the nation. Orlando residents have a 1 in 14 chance of being victimized by property crime and a 1 in 12 chance of being victims when you factor in violent crime. There are over 17,500 property crimes in Orlando each year.
Despite the crime increases in central Florida, Governor Rick Scott calls the overall state numbers a victory for law enforcement, saying, “it’s a great day for our state. This continued reduction of our crime rate is outstanding.”
Even with a marginal decline in statewide crime volume, violent and property crime is an ever-present threat to Floridians, particularly in the Orlando area. Home alarm systems are shown to be a major deterrent to criminals, especially burglars. A study of convicted offenders found 83% actively look for signs of a burglar alarm system when choosing a target.