Spurred by a decline in robberies and property thefts, the crime rate in the Collier County Sheriff’s Office’s jurisdiction fell nearly 13 percent in 2012, the sharpest drop since 2004.
The crime rate measures seven offenses: homicide, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft. In all, there were 1,893.1 crimes reported per 100,000 residents.
The 2012 data comes one year after the Sheriff’s Office reported its first crime rate increase since 1997.
The number of burglaries and larcenies fell by more than 500 in 2012, a nearly 11 percent drop compared to 2011. Robberies also dropped by 62, a nearly 30 percent decline.
Sexual assaults also fell, from 111 to 99, and homicides were down from nine to six.
Only the number of motor vehicle thefts increased, from 194 to 230.
“We continually reach out to our community, and these numbers show us that our community is listening and they are responding,” Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said. “People are securing their homes and belongings, and they are taking other appropriate measures to stay safe and help us keep crime low.”
The data, known as a Uniform Crime Report, only measures offense reported to sheriff’s officials, so it doesn’t represent a complete picture of crime. Still, it’s commonly cited as the most reliable data available.
The Sheriff’s Office started an online crime reporting system in 2010 as one way to encourage locals to report crime. Certain crimes also can be reported to a dispatcher over the phone.
“The more information we have, the better we are able to identify trends, develop suspects and stop criminals,” Rambosk said. “Our message to the community is that we want to hear from them.”