Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Reported crime down in Hillsborough County

TAMPA — Serious crimes decreased in number by 16.2 percent in Hillsborough County last year, the Sheriff's Office said Tuesday. It's the fourth straight year that crime has dropped.

Last year, 31 of every 1,000 residents in unincorporated Hillsborough were crime victims. Just four years ago, that ratio was 45 in 1,000.

"And we didn't spend any more money," said sheriff's Col. Albert Frost. "It's just a refocusing of resources."

Law enforcement agencies compile annual statistics on murder, sex offenses, robbery, larceny, burglary, vehicle theft and aggravated assault and report them to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting program.

All categories except murder decreased last year in unincorporated Hillsborough. There were 36 reported murders, two more than in 2009.

The most dramatic drops were in robbery (a 28.4 percent decrease) and vehicle theft (a 25.3 percent decrease).

The Sheriff's Office attributes the declines to proactive police work, namely its Law Enforcement Intelligence Nexus Center. The center was established about three years ago to pinpoint crime patterns and stop the people who commit most of the crimes.

Detectives and crime analysts use data — including police reports, MySpace postings and observations from other agencies — to predict where criminals will strike next.

Still, it's hard to predict homicides, he said. Most times, killers know their victims, Frost said. But because homicides are such an anomaly, it's not the same as tracking a known burglar.

Tampa police numbers won't be released until later this month, but during a recent speech, police Chief Jane Castor said the department saw a 12.4 percent reduction in crime in 2010.

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

Hillsborough crime rates dip

Overall, crime in unincorporated Hillsborough County dropped last year, but the murder number climbed. It marks the fourth straight year that the county crime rate has dropped.

Sex offenses455404-11.2%
Aggravated assault2,4261,996-17.7%
Vehicle theft1,9811,480-25.3%

Reported crime down in Hillsborough County 02/08/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 11:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Comedian and activist Dick Gregory dies at 84


    The comedian Dick Gregory rose to national prominence in the early 1960s as a black satirist whose audacious style of humor was biting, subversive and topical, mostly centered on current events, politics and above all, racial tensions. His trademark was the searing punchline.

    Dick Gregory, a comedian, activist and author, died Saturday. [Tribune News Service, 2011]
  2. Winter Haven police investigating armed robbery at Dollar General


    WINTER HAVEN — Police are investigating an armed robbery Friday night of a Dollar General store on W Lake Ruby Drive.

  3. Rowdies settle for draw at home


    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  4. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  5. 'Free speech rally' cut short after massive counterprotest


    BOSTON — Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-Nazi slogans converged Saturday on downtown Boston in a boisterous repudiation of white nationalism, dwarfing a small group of conservatives who cut short their planned "free speech rally" a week after a gathering of hate groups led to bloodshed in Virginia.

    Thousands of people march against a “free speech rally” planned Saturday in Boston. About 40,000 people were in attendance.