Stunning beaches, world-renowned theme parks, and active nightlife are Florida's hallmarks. However, like any other state in the United States, Florida has its share of crime.
Despite this, the state has made progress in reducing crime rates, hitting a 50-year record low in 2021. The total crime volume dropped 8.3% (or 38,524 fewer reported index crimes) compared to 2020.
But with crime still prevalent, what are the most shocking trends in Florida's crime scene? Let's delve into the data and find out.
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- Florida ranked 25th in violent crime rates.
- Arrests increased by 6.8% in 2021.
- The property crime rate dropped by 10.7% in 2021.
- Brooker City ranked first as the safest city in Florida.
- 2023's list of 100 dangerous cities in the US included five Florida cities.
- The chances of being a victim of violent crime in Florida are 1 in 255.
- In 2022, there were 31 mass shooting incidents reported.
- The violent crime rate in Florida dropped by 4.3%.
- The 2021 index of crimes showed a decrease of 38,524.
How Many Crimes Are Committed Each Year in Florida?
Meanwhile, Florida had 85,426 violent crime incidents reported during the same period. The top offense was assault, trailed by robbery, rape, and murder.
This is only a general understanding of crime numbers and types. Let's investigate the state's crime report and its detailed statistics.
Florida Crime Report Statistics
Despite lower crime rates, anxiety about safety remains high. Check out these latest crime reports in Florida to understand why:
1. Florida ranked 25th in violent crime rates.
(The Capitolist, Safewise)
The Sunshine State ranked 25th in the US for violent crimes. Its rate of 3.8 cases per 1,000 residents was below the national average. Despite this, the survey of Florida's residents tells a different story:
- Only 4 of 10 respondents feel safe in the state.
- Six out of 10 said they are worried about their safety daily.
2. Arrests increased by 6.8% in 2021.
(Office of Economic and Demographic Research)
The 2021 arrest statistics showed an increase of 6.8% from the 2020 numbers. From 508,490 arrests, it increased to 543,138 in 2021.
2012 had 960,446 arrests, the highest number in the past ten years. Violent and property crime nominal arrests have steadily declined since their all-time highs in 1993 and 1994.
3. The Florida crime clearance rate was 24.6 per 100 cases.
(The News Press)
The "clearance rate" measures police effectiveness in solving crimes through arrests. To calculate it, divide the number of "solved" crimes by the number of reported crimes.
The overall crime clearance rate in 2021 decreased slightly from the 2020 data. From 25.5, the clearance rate was down to 24.6 per 100 cases.
4. The property crime rate dropped by 10.7% in 2021.
(Tampa Bay Times)
The property crime rate dropped by 10.7% from 2020 numbers. Florida had 1,746 incidents per 100,000 residents, compared to 2,139 nationwide.
Due to fewer property crime offenses, overall property crime fell as follows:
- Burglary was down 15%.
- Larceny was down nearly 9%.
- Auto theft was also down 6.4%.
5. The chances of becoming a victim of property crime in Florida are 1 in 57.
With the decreasing trend of crimes in Sunshine County, the property crime rate dropped to one in 57. The state's most reported property crimes were larceny, motor vehicle theft, and burglary.
Florida Crime Demographic Statistics
Age, gender, race, ethnicity, social status, education, and location can affect crime rates. Florida has some intriguing demographic crime statistics that reveal these patterns. Let's look at the most notable ones:
6. Women were most likely to be arrested due to prostitution and sex work at 53.6%.
Prostitution and sex work were the top offenses, with 53.6% of women likely to face arrest. Embezzlement and larceny were also common.
Drug-related offenses were the least likely cause of women's arrests. All these top offenses committed by women were non-violent.
7. The arrest rate for those aged 10–17 was 16 per 1,000 in 2021.
(FL Health Charts, The Capitolist)
From a 23.2 arrest rate for juvenile segments in 2020, the 2021 rate showed a decrease of 31% in the arrest rate. The trend has steadily decreased since 2017, reaching a 51% decrease in 5 years.
The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice's education and new subsidized programs contributed to the decreasing arrest trend.
8. Juveniles accounted for 6.57% of Florida arrests.
In 2019, juvenile arrests accounted for 6.57% of 679,221 arrests, with nearly 5% of juveniles being male.
The black population had the most juvenile arrests. White (8.77%) came in second, and American Indian (6.43%) races came in third.
9. The black population in Florida had the highest arrest rate at 7,203.7 per 100,000.
Race and ethnicity affect state crime arrests. The black segment had the highest arrest rate (7,203.70 per 100,000), while the white segment had 2,569.8 per 100,000. The number of arrests in the Asian group was the lowest, at 736.2 per 100,000.
Driving under the influence (DUI) accounted for 81% of white arrests in 2019. In the black segment, robbery offenses comprised 53% of arrests.
10. The white population accounted for 70% of all arrests in Florida.
The white segment, comprising 76.5% of Florida's population, accounted for 70% of arrests in 2019. This translates to an arrest rate of 2,569.8 per 100,000, declining steadily in 2015.
Florida's 2019 black arrest rate was 7,203.7 per 100,000, higher than the US national rate of 5,723.3 per 100,000.
Florida Crime Statistics by City
The crime rate in Florida varies by city, as the state is a mix of urban and rural areas. While some cities have higher crime rates than the state average, others have lower rates. Let's take a closer look!
11. Brooker City ranked first as the safest city in Florida.
(Neighborhood Scout, Citytistics)
The crime rate in Brooker is low compared to other cities of its size in Florida. The total crime rate in the city is 2 per 1,000 residents, which is below the national average.
The violent crime rate is 0 per 1,000, and the property crime rate is 3 per 1,000 people, all below the national average. Other cities included in the top 10 safest cities in Florida are:
- Chokoloskee-Evergaldes City
- Boka Grande
- Myakka City
- Horseshoe Beach
12. Five Florida cities were among the 100 most dangerous cities in the US in 2023.
With 11.5 violent crimes per 1,000 residents, Riviera Beach is the most dangerous city. The chance of being a violent crime victim in the city is 1 in 86.
The four other cities in Florida included in the list are:
- Palm Springs has a violent crime rate of 10.9 per 1,000 people.
- Daytona Beach's violent crime rate is 10.1 per 1,000 people.
- Panama City's violent crime rate is 9.5 per 1,000 people.
- Lake Worth Beach has a violent crime rate of 9.3 per 1,000 residents.
13. The murder rate in Miami-Dade County dropped by nearly 15%.
(NBC Miami, Pumphrey Law)
The murder rate in Miami-Dade County dropped in 2021, defying the trend in several major US cities. The county started "Operation Summer Heat" in June of that year, contributing to the decline.
The operation sought to take guns off the streets and target violent people and areas. It led to more than 3,300 felony arrests and the recovery of over 1,200 guns.
14. Homicides in St. Petersburg decreased by 49% in 2022.
(St. Pete Catalyst)
In 2022, St. Petersburg's homicides dropped 49% after doubling in 2021. The number of reported homicides in St. Petersburg dropped to 16 from 33. However, in the previous year (2020), there were only 15 cases.
Florida Violent Crime Statistics
Violent crimes are serious felonies under Florida state or federal law. Rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and homicide are examples.
Unlike the rest of the US, Florida has recently seen a decline in violent crime rates. Here's the breakdown:
15. The chances of being a victim of violent crime in Florida are 1 in 255.
In 2021, Florida's violent crime rate was below the national median of 4 cases per 1000 residents. That year, the total reported violent crime was 85,426, or 3.8 cases per 1000 residents.
16. The violent crime rate in Florida dropped by 4.3%.
(Tampa Bay Times, FL Health Charts)
The violent crime rate in Florida was 367.3 per 100,000 residents, showing a drop of 4.3% from 2020. The breakdown of the reported violent crime rate decreased in 2021 is as follows:
- Murder was down by 14%.
- Aggravated assault was down by 1.6%.
- The robbery was down by 17.5%.
In 2020, the reported violent crime rate was 388 per 100,000 residents, a 5% increase from 2019. Homicides spiked that year, contributing to the uptick in violent crime in 2020.
17. There were 31 reported incidents of mass shootings in 2022.
The Gun Violence Archive listed 31 incidents of mass shootings in Florida for 2022. This number has remained steady for three consecutive years.
Mass shootings spiked up in 2020 from 15 incidents in 2019. Florida's deadliest shooting in 2020 was the Orlando shooting on October 16. It left three dead and one injured.
18. Violent offense filings increased by 1.2% in 2022.
(Office of Economic and Demographic Research)
In 2022, Florida's violent crime filings increased by 1.2%, and non-violent offenses increased by 3.3%. During the same period, drug filings decreased by 3.3%.
The Bottom Line
Statistics show that crimes in Florida are dropping, reassuring residents and visitors alike.
However, only two agencies' transition to the new FBI reporting system questions the completeness of crime statistics. While the numbers show progress, the state must maintain security and public safety.