The crime rate in Florida fell by 9.0 percent, according to the 2018 Annual Uniform Crime Report, marking the 48th consecutive year Florida has seen a drop in its crime rate. The report also shows a 7.4 percent decrease of total index crimes, with 45,154 fewer reported offenses compared to 2017.
“The fall of overall crime rates in 2018 is great news for all Floridians, but there’s still more work to be done,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I recently met with Florida’s leading law enforcement officials to provide an update on the progress of the state’s threat assessment strategy, which I initiated in February in a request to FDLE Commissioner Swearingen. We must do everything we can to protect our citizens and visitors from senseless acts of targeted violence. My administration will continue to stand with our law enforcement personnel and move forward on key policies to protect our residents and keep our communities safe.”
“Florida is a stronger, safer state because of the men and women of law enforcement who face danger every day to protect their communities,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody. “I am deeply grateful for all they do to keep the state’s crime rate trending downward, but we must not forget that this 48-year drop in crime comes at a tremendous cost. Last year, Florida lost 11 law enforcement officers in the line of duty. We will never forget their sacrifices, nor the security we feel as a result of their courageous service. God bless the men and women who value our safety above their own.”
“The significant drop in our state’s overall crime rate is a testament to the hard work, dedication and proactive efforts of Florida’s sworn law enforcement officers,” said Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. “They work tirelessly to deter crime, so we can have thriving communities. I applaud the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as well as the entire law enforcement community for continuing to look for innovative ways to stay ahead of crime and keep the Sunshine State safe.”
“Our state’s elected leaders have no greater responsibility than the safety and security of our fellow Floridians, and we have the extraordinary men and women of Florida’s law enforcement agencies to thank for fulfilling that mandate,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried. “This state we love and call home is safer today because of the commitment our law enforcement professionals make to protecting and serving, often at great personal sacrifice. I thank our law enforcement community for their dedication, and I am proud to stand with them.”
Overall, violent crime offenses dropped 4.2 percent while property crimes fell 7.9 percent. The index crimes of robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft were down while murder and rape saw increases. Murder offenses increased by 50 total homicides, a 4.7 percent increase. This includes the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting incident.
“The continued drop in overall crime rate reflects the outstanding work done by Florida’s law enforcement officers in protecting Florida’s citizens and visitors. I appreciate the sacrifices they make and the risk they take every day to protect us,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen. “Embracing new strategies like behavioral threat assessment will enhance our crime prevention efforts. In addition we must leverage progressive techniques for solving crimes like genetic genealogy.”
“Florida’s low crime rate is no accident. It is the result of hard work by our deputies, with the support from Florida’s strong public safety laws,” said President of the Florida Sheriffs Association and Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter. “A major reason we enjoy a 48-year low in the crime rate today is because criminals are serving the time they deserve and not creating more crime victims by receiving a ‘get out of jail free’ card. Florida’s ‘Truth in Sentencing’ laws have once again contributed to keeping our residents and visitors of the Sunshine State safe.”
“While the Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) commends the hard work of law enforcement in the state of Florida, we recognize that we must remain vigilant in our efforts to protect the citizens and visitors to our state,” said Florida State University Police Chief and Florida Police Chiefs Association President David Perry. “We applaud Governor DeSantis’ recent establishment of a threat analysis strategy in our state. The FPCA is committed to working with our state and local partners in making Florida one of the safest places in the nation to live, work and play.”
The Annual UCR calculates both crime volume and crime rate throughout Florida. The report, including county-by-county breakdowns, can be found on FDLE’s website at fdle.state.fl.us/FSAC/UCR-Reports.aspx.
FDLE began tracking crime statistics in 1971.