Suwannee Democrat

November 8, 2012

Crime rose for first 6 months in Lafayette County

Joyce Marie Taylor
Suwannee Democrat

Mayo — The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released their semi-annual Uniform Crime Report and for Lafayette County the total crime index rose to 53, a 29.3 percent increase from 2011, which was 41.

Index crimes are the eight crimes the FBI combines to produce its annual crime index. The eight offenses include willful homicide, forcible rape, robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, larceny over $50, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

In small counties with low population figures just one crime can make the increased figure seem inflated and can be misleading, Sheriff Brian Lamb stated.

For the first half of 2012 Lafayette County had one robbery reported, whereas last year there were none. There were no murders or forcible rapes, aggravated assaults went up from four to 12, burglaries rose from 11 to 15 and larceny went down from 24 to 23. There were two motor vehicle thefts, the same as last year.

The good news is that the clearance rate for solving these crimes rose from 48.8 percent last year to 60.4 percent for the first half of 2012.

Statewide numbers show the total crime index went down from 2011’s figure of 373,340 to 359,051 for the first half of 2012. Murders rose from 472 to 479, forcible rapes increased by two from 2,682 in 2011 to 2,864, robberies declined from 12,228 to 11,247, aggravated assaults also decreased from 34,107 to 32,471, burglaries went down from 80,170 to 75,502, larceny decreased from 224,779 to 218,016 and motor vehicle thefts also went down from 18,902 to 18,652. The statewide clearance rate increased slightly from 24.5 percent in 2011 to 24.7 percent for the first half of 2012.

Lamb stated, “It’s disappointing we have 12 more crimes reported during this period than the last reporting period, but I am extremely pleased with our efforts to aggressively respond to the criminal activity throughout the year. We do this by investigating each crime to the fullest extent practical. This method has resulted in a consistently higher clearance and arrest rate than in the past and one of the highest in the state.  Our clearance rate is 35.9 percent higher than the state average.”

To view the entire report, visit