POLL: Sheriff: Collier crime down 3.4 percent in first six months

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— Overall crime in Collier County is down, according to a report, but not everyone agrees.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office reported Wednesday that overall crime in unincorporated parts of the county and Everglades City over the first six months of 2010 dropped 3.4 percent to 2,901 crimes from 3,003 crimes in the first six months of 2009.

The report includes crime categories of homicide, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.

Sexual assault cases saw the biggest decrease of 25.4 percent, a reduction of 15 assaults — from 59 to 44.

However, Shaina Hicks, Counselor and Victim Advocate at Project Help Crisis in East Naples, questioned that statistic.

"I don't know how true that particular statistic can be considering that many times sexual assaults go unreported, furthermore to law enforcement," Hicks said. "Certainly we would be glad to hear if that stat was correct but according to the business that we have seen in our particular area I wouldn't suggest it is correct."

The key point to remember with statistics is that they can only account for what has been reported, officials say. Therefore, there may be a decrease in reported crime but it may not be evident to counselors who deal with sexual abuse victims everyday.

"Obviously we would be happy to think that some of the prevention education work that's being done is making a difference and the support and awareness in the community may be contributing" Hicks said.

Hicks said there is a 24-hour hotline for victims who are too scared to go to the police with their situation, at 239-262-7227.

The report also showed that the number of car thefts in the county was down from 115 to 91, a 20.9 percent drop. Burglaries dipped 9.8 percent from 562 to 507; and larcenies dropped 1 percent from 1,811 to 1,793, the report said.

The number of homicides in the county remained the same at four.

There was a 3.3 percent increase in reported robberies from 91 in 2009 to 94 this year. Aggravated assaults also rose 1.9 percent from 361 to 368.

“All of us have ownership of this 3.4 percent drop,” Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said in a release. “Whether you made sure your car doors were locked, reported suspicious activity to law enforcement or started a Neighborhood Watch program, you contributed to this number.”

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Comments » 2

RayPray writes:

While this is great, just imagine how much further our local crime rate might plunge if we cut back the obviously over-funded and over-staffed CCSO by, say, 20%....

deltarome writes:

I suspect that the fewer available jobs and lower number of people living here might have something to do with lower crime numbers.
The number of crimes per residents which is commonly noted as the "crime rate" might be a better judge of how effective crime prevention "is or isn't".

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