CRIME DECLINE CONTINUING IN 2002
Local participants in the National Night Out Against Crime on Tuesday evening will have some reason to celebrate because their crime fighting efforts seem to be paying off.
National law enforcement leaders recently said the decline in crime that we have enjoyed was too good to last and that criminal activity is inching upward again, but that is apparently not the case here.
In the first six months of 2002, fewer crimes were committed and more cases were cleared in the areas patrolled by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
To get an accurate and realistic view of the latest crime trends, all Florida police agencies keep track of the offenses committed in their patrol areas. In addition, agencies track the rate at which crimes are solved, called the clearance rate.
In the category of part 1 crimes – the most serious and violent offenses – there were marked reductions in nearly every column. Agency-wide, these crimes dropped 15.6% in the first six months of this year compared to last. Comparing the last five years – 1997 to 2002 – the numbers are even more impressive. Crime in our patrol areas dropped 49.7%.
The number of forcible sex offenses declined 22.2%, larcenies (thefts) are down 16%, burglaries dropped 11.3% and robberies are down 18.2% -- all significant reductions. Aggravated assaults are down 19.1% and aggravated stalking dropped 60%. Auto theft had been on the rise for years but it declined in 2001 and the downward trend continues in 2002 with a 13.9% decrease. The only violent crime registering an increase was murder. From January through June, 12 people were slain in 2002 compared to 11 in 2001.
Reductions were seen in other categories including kidnapping, embezzlement and battery. Manslaughter dropped 100% in the first half of 2002 with no new cases reported. The number of drug offenses declined 12.2%.
Perhaps the most impressive results are apparent in one of our newest districts: the City of North Lauderdale. Part one offenses have dropped 49.4% in North Lauderdale. Burglaries are down 60%, larcenies have fallen 48.3% and auto theft has dropped 36.3%. North Lauderdale also saw the largest increase in the clearance rate, up an extraordinary 195%. Statistics for other cities and areas served by BSO are available through the Media Relations Unit.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office assists all municipal police departments and provides full law enforcement protection in the county’s unincorporated areas and the cities of North Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Dania Beach, Pembroke Park, Lauderdale Lakes, Tamarac, Deerfield Beach, Oakland Park, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Southwest Ranches and Weston. We also provide security for the Broward County Courts, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Port Everglades.
Sheriff Ken Jenne credited excellent work on the part of BSO deputies and detectives, combined with citizen involvement, for the continuing reduction in crime.
This report by:
Jim Leljedal / Media Relations
8/5/02 1200 #02-8-10