New data: Number of serious crimes drops in county, state
The number of serious violent and property crimes -- or at least the ones tracked by state and federal law enforcement -- dropped slightly in Alachua County from 2010 to 2011, while the Gainesville Police Department's load of such cases dropped by more than 9 percent, according to data released this week.
Overall, the crime rate in Florida last year was the lowest in 41 years, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced as it released the annual Uniform Crime Report, showing that violent crime had dropped by nearly 4 percent.
The total number of so-called index crimes -- murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft -- declined in Florida by 0.1 percent and in Alachua County by almost 2.4 percent.
However, based on the Alachua County population count used in the UCR, the report showed that the crime rate went up 0.9 percent in the county.
The UCR used figures that showed Alachua County's population dropped by 3 percent from 2010 to 2011, though the 2010 number likely was an estimate issued before the census was conducted that year, said Scott Cody, a demographer with the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research, which provides the population data for the report.