Joyce Marie Taylor
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released their Semi-Annual Uniform Crime Report and for Hamilton County the total crime index rose to 209, a 15.5 percent increase from 2011, which was 181. The Hamilton County report encompasses the Sheriff’s Office, Jasper, Jennings and White Springs police departments.
Index crimes are the eight crimes the FBI combines to produce its annual crime index. The eight offenses include willful homicide, forcible rape, robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, larceny over $50, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
In small counties with low population figures just one crime can make the increased figure seem inflated and can be misleading, Sheriff Harrell Reid explained.
For the first half of 2012 Hamilton County reported no murders or forcible rapes. Three robberies were reported, the same as 2011, aggravated assaults decreased from 28 to 14, burglaries rose from 47 to 80 and larceny rose from 90 to 104. There were eight motor vehicle thefts, down from 2011‘s figure of 13.
The clearance rate for solving these crimes has also gone down from 24.3 percent last year to 19.6 percent for the first half of 2012.
Statewide numbers show the total crime index went down from 2011’s figure of 373,340 to 359,051 for the first half of 2012. Murders rose from 472 to 479, forcible rapes increased by two from 2,682 in 2011 to 2,864, robberies declined from 12,228 to 11,247, aggravated assaults also decreased from 34,107 to 32,471, burglaries went down from 80,170 to 75,502, larceny decreased from 224,779 to 218,016 and motor vehicle thefts also went down from 18,902 to 18,652. The statewide clearance rate increased slightly from 24.5 percent in 2011 to 24.7 percent for the first half of 2012.
Reid stated, “We will continue to work hard to reduce crime in Hamilton County.” To view the entire report, visit http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Content/FSAC/Menu/UCR-Home.aspx.