Crime in Florida Dropped By 6.5 Percent in 2012

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released its annual crime report on Thursday, showing that crime was down 6.5 percent in 2012 compared to the year before.

Florida is as safe as its been in some 40 years, so says Governor Rick Scott.

On Thursday he released statewide statistics showing the crime rate decreasing 6.5 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. Violent crimes dropped 4.3 percent. There were 43,536 fewer crimes in 2012.

Over the years Miami Gardens became notorious for high profile, violent crimes.

But when the city police department took over from Miami-Dade Police in 2007, the crime rate fell sharply.

"Along with that comes ownership," said Deputy Police Chief Paul Miller.

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He says a 'hometown' police department makes a huge difference.

"They start to know the area, they start you know the residents, the business owners, the people who they are impacting and interrelating with on a daily basis, so that we can further make a difference to reduce crime."

The uniform crime report records the seven major crimes; murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny and vehicle theft.

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In 2012 In Miami-Dade, the crime rate dipped 6.5% compared to 2011. In Broward the reduction is 4.8%. Monroe County saw an uptick in the crime rate in 2012 by 4%. The city of Miami has been lacking police officers for years.

Commissioner Marc Sarnoff is behind an online petition urging city officials to hire hundreds more officers.

"We are not seeing the general trend of crime dropping any longer," said Sarnoff.

"We have a lot of years when we were spoiled, for about 10 years crime went down consistently, for the past three years it has been stubborn and it's gone up in certain segments and certain times."

Officials say technology and enhanced communication are a few reasons why crime is down statewide.

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