Crime dropped by 6 percent during the first half of 2012 compared to the same period last year, Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk announced Monday.
“This reduction is a clear indication that our community is partnering with us to keep Collier County safe,” Sheriff Rambosk said. “Every time you secure your home, lock your car or mentor a child, you are making a positive difference.”
He added that the decrease is particularly significant in light of the fact that the agency has implemented significant budget reductions. Over the past four budget cycles the Collier County Sheriff’s Office has decreased its budget by $20.6 million, with an accumulative offset of more than $48 million.
“Thanks to community partnerships and our dedicated agency members we have actually increased service while decreasing our budget,” Sheriff Rambosk said. “Collier County continues to be one of the safest counties in all of Florida.”
There were 2,888 crimes reported in unincorporated Collier County and Everglades City during the first half of 2012, according to preliminary numbers submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement by the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. That number is down from the 3,072 crimes reported during the first six months of 2011.
The statistics represent the categories of homicide, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.
Statistically, homicides dropped by the greatest percentage, showing a 50 percent reduction from four in the first six months of 2011 to two during the same period this year. Aggravated assaults were down 23.7 percent, from 355 to 271; robberies dropped 17.8 percent, from 107 to 88; sexual assaults were down 14.5 percent from 62 to 53; and larcenies dropped 7.8 percent, from 1,809 to 1,667.
Two categories saw an increase. Motor vehicle thefts went from 88 during the first six months of 2011 to 108 during the same timeframe this year; and burglaries increased from 647 to 699.
Sheriff Rambosk said one of the ways he plans to address the areas that saw an increase is to continue to educate the community on the importance of securing their homes and vehicles.
“We all need to be aware that there are three elements at the root of all crime: ability, desire and opportunity. We can’t control ability and desire, but we can control opportunity.”
Here are some of the ways citizens can help deputies drive crime down:
* Lock your car and keep valuables out of view
* Schedule a home or business security survey by a CCSO Crime Prevention specialist
* Report unusual activity to law enforcement
* Start or join a Neighborhood Watch program
* Mentor a child
* Be alert and aware of your surroundings
* Join one of CCSO’s Community Safety Teams to help address code enforcement and other problems at the neighborhood level
* Protect personal information like your Social Security number, computer passwords and banking information
* When online, don’t chat with strangers or respond to their e-mails