Statewide and county crime rates continue to drop

Posted on June 26, 2019 by Staff reports

The crime rate in Florida fell by 9 percent, according to the 2018 Annual Uniform Crime Report, marking the 48th consecutive year Florida has seen a drop in its crime rate. The report also shows a 7.4 percent decrease of total index crimes, with 45,154 fewer reported offenses compared to 2017. 

In Santa Rosa County the index crime rate during 2018 dropped 4.6 percent.

“It’s good to have crime drop across the board,” Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said Wednesday.

Additionally, FDLE data shows Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office’s clearance rate for cases is 47.3 percent — compared to the statewide rate of 25.3 percent.

“We almost doubled (the statewide closure rate),” said Johnson. “That shows our deputies are working hard and well motivated,” he said, noting that deputies handle most of their own cases. 

“The fall of overall crime rates in 2018 is great news for all Floridians, but there’s still more work to be done,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I recently met with Florida’s leading law enforcement officials to provide an update on the progress of the state’s threat assessment strategy, which I initiated in February in a request to FDLE Commissioner Swearingen. We must do everything we can to protect our citizens and visitors from senseless acts of targeted violence. My administration will continue to stand with our law enforcement personnel and move forward on key policies to protect our residents and keep our communities safe.”

Overall, violent crime offenses dropped 4.2 percent while property crimes fell 7.9 percent.   The index crimes of robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft were down while murder and rape saw increases. Murder offenses increased by 50 total homicides, a 4.7 percent increase.  This includes the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting incident.
“The continued drop in overall crime rate reflects the outstanding work done by Florida’s law enforcement officers in protecting Florida’s citizens and visitors.  I appreciate the sacrifices they make and the risk they take every day to protect us,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen.  “Embracing new strategies like behavioral threat assessment will enhance our crime prevention efforts.  In addition we must leverage progressive techniques for solving crimes like genetic genealogy.”
“Florida’s low crime rate is no accident.  It is the result of hard work by our deputies, with the support from Florida’s strong public safety laws,” said President of the Florida Sheriffs Association and Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter. “A major reason we enjoy a 48-year low in the crime rate today is because criminals are serving the time they deserve and not creating more crime victims by receiving a ‘get out of jail free’ card.  Florida’s ‘Truth in Sentencing’ laws have once again contributed to keeping our residents and visitors of the Sunshine State safe.”
The Annual UCR calculates both crime volume and crime rate throughout Florida.  The report, including county-by-county breakdowns, can be found on FDLE’s website at
FDLE began tracking crime statistics in 1971.