Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Crime down 3.8 percent in state for first half of year

TAMPA — Crime continued to decline in Florida the first six months of 2012.

Reported crime fell 3.8 percent compared to the first six months of the previous year, according to statistics released Thursday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Violent crime dropped 5.3 percent, and nonviolent crime declined 3.6 percent.

At a news conference, Gov. Rick Scott praised the state's law enforcement officers.

"They're doing a great job, and they're using new technology to put people in jail," he said.

Crime has dropped steadily for years, and law enforcement on Thursday continued to attribute the decline to proactive policing and new technology.

In Tampa, where crime dropped 7.4 percent, Assistant Police Chief John Bennett said the agency's success is due to a number of factors, including partnerships with other agencies, businesses and neighborhood groups, as well as the analysis of crime trends.

Tampa police track crime in each of their 240 grids and tailor their work to each area's crime trends, he said.

"Every neighborhood is unique, and we treat them as such," Bennett said.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said while crime decreased 2.4 percent countywide in Pinellas, in the Sheriff's Office's service area, it declined about 8 percent.

He said the decline can be attributed to proactive policing and aggressive response to violent crimes.

The agency has also used some unique strategies over the years, he said. About three years ago, when deputies were seeing a spike in car burglaries — mostly from unlocked cars — deputies walked neighborhoods at night locking cars and leaving behind notes explaining the danger.

"It's about being innovative with different types of programs," Gualtieri said.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at or (813) 226-3433.

Local crime trends

Area% drop
Hillsborough County6.3
Pinellas County2.4
St. Petersburg1.9
Pasco County6.6
New Port Richey16.6

Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Crime down 3.8 percent in state for first half of year 11/01/12 [Last modified: Thursday, November 1, 2012 10:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics


    Winner of the week 1: 'Liquor wall’ proponents. Gov. Rick Scott’s veto of a bill to allow Walmart, Target and other big box stores to sell liquor was a victory for an array of groups, from smaller merchants and Publix (which has stand-alone booze shops near its stores) to those who feel the hard stuff …

  2. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa


    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  3. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  4. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title


    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  5. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.