While overall crime is down in Miami-Dade County for 2013 -- in line with the rest of the state -- the number of murders, forcible rapes and robberies increased from the previous year, according to data released Wednesday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
In 2013, there were 229 murders countywide, 19 more than the previous year. There were 44 more rape cases than the previous year and 364 more robbery cases. Other crimes, including aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and vehicle theft showed significant drops. Burglary cases with 18,935 reported in 2013, down 2,174 from 2012.
The overall crime rate, based on population, was down about 4 percent. Total crimes went down about 3 percent.
“It is good to see overall crime down, but one crime is one too many,” said Carmen Caldwell, director of Citizen's Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County. “There is a lot of work to be done.”
The Uniform Crime Report, released Wednesday, showed that Florida’s overall crime rate dropped 4.7 percent from 2012, making it the lowest it has been in 43 years. The total number of crimes statewide fell by 27,380 or 3.8 percent from 2012. Statewide murders, rapes and robberies were down.
“We’re at a 43 year low in our crime rate, and that's impressive,” Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday as he announced the report’s findings in Tampa with Gerald Bailey, the commissioner of FDLE. Despite Florida’s population growth crime is decreasing.
Broward’s overall crime rate went down about 7 percent, but forcible rape cases were up 46 to 568. Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said the jump is likely because of a change in the definition of rape to include other sexual offenses. Law enforcement agencies in Broward worked far less larceny and burglary cases than the previous year.
“We are thrilled with the results,” said Israel Wednesday. Israel said the decrease is a result of “proactive police.”
“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work,” he said. “The proof is in the pudding.”
Statewide the number of arrests made in 2013 was down from the previous year. Miami-Dade and Broward were in line with the state results. In Miami-Dade there were 17,243 fewer arrests and in Broward, there were 4,240 fewer arrests than the previous year.
The complete 2013 Annual Uniform Crime Report is available on FDLE’s website.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.