For The 50th Straight Year Crime Declined In Florida

High Angle View of Two Robbers Robbing a Cash Till and Threatening a Shop Assistant with a Gun

Photo: Getty Images

FDLE’s annual Uniform Crime Report came with an impressive headline.  While there are concerns about a rise in violent crime in real-time, we actually saw that trend began last year. While the news was generally good, as the headline suggests, Florida saw a dramatic decline in property crime, 17%. The net-net was an overall decline in crime of 14.1% across Florida last year. There were big geographical differences last year. Last year in South Florida crime was down 18% in Broward, 19.6% in Miami-Dade, and 10.3% in Palm Beach County.

Florida’s two most populous counties posted better than average declines in overall crime driving the state’s total lower. This stands in contrast to another large county, Duval, which only posted an 8% decline in crime with a rise in violent crime making Duval the most dangerous county in Florida and Jacksonville the most dangerous large city. What remains to be seen is how sustainable this decline will be.

The significant decreases in property crime were likely in part driven by people staying home during the pandemic, leading to fewer property crimes of opportunity. People staying home also contributed to the rise in violent crime as those prone to domestic abuse likewise had more opportunity to do so. While it’s unclear what the impact of emerging from the pandemic will be in comparison to what occurred last year, 50 years of improvement is something to celebrate.

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