FDLE Announces Violent Crime Down for First Half of Year

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement today announced that violent crime is down by 2.4 percent for the first half of 2008. The figure is part of the 2008 Semi-Annual Uniform Crime Report which was released today, providing a preliminary indication of this year’s crime figures. The report includes data submitted by 406 law enforcement agencies for crimes reported from January through June of this year. Murder, robbery, aggravated assault and forcible sex offenses, all showed a decrease over the same period last year. The overall crime volume reported in Florida increased by 1.6% compared to the same time period in 2007.

“The first half of the year is typically a good indicator as to what is ahead in the remaining months,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “Arrests are up and we applaud the hard work of Florida law enforcement in aggressively combating crime.”

“In these difficult economic times, our officers are grateful for the response and assistance they have received from our citizens,” said Port Orange Police Chief Gerald Monahan, President of the Florida Police Chiefs Association. “While we are cautiously optimistic with the short-term decrease in violent crime, the more accurate picture of actual crime trends will be evident at the end of the calendar year.”

“Even though we are in a depressed economy, we are pleased that the cooperative effort between the citizens of Florida and Florida Law Enforcement Agencies has produced a reduction in violent crime and a low overall crime rate statewide,” said Okaloosa Sheriff Charlie Morris, President of the Florida Sheriffs Association. “With Florida Law Enforcement agencies facing hard economic times in the future, we will need to rely even more on our citizens to help us keep the crime rate low.”

In addition, the number of reported domestic violence offenses decreased by 3.0 percent from last year. Total arrests increased by 3.9 percent from last year’s figure. Juvenile arrests increased 0.9 percent, while adult arrests increased 4.3 percent. Motor vehicle theft is down 10.1 percent over the same period last year.

During this reporting period, one officer was killed in the line of duty. Detective James Walker of the Miami Police Department was killed In Jan. 2008 by a suspect who mistook the officer’s car for the vehicle of his accomplice.

The complete 2008 Semi-Annual Crime in Florida, Uniform Crime Report, including county-by-county breakdowns, can be found on FDLE’s Web site:

For more information, contact:

Heather Smith or Kristen Perezluha
FDLE Public Information Office
(850) 410-7001