Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) offenses dropped by about 18% last year in Boca Raton. This decline follows a 5.7% reduction in 2008 and a 4.6% dip last year. Here are the numbers for the major categories.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog (The Crime Barometer), these stats must be viewed with a critical eye on the trends, not the numbers. While we have had our ups and downs over the years, crime has generally trended downward. Since 1990, the crime rate has decreased by about 47%.
In 2010, approximately 93% of our crime was property related. Violent crime was about 7% of the reported total. The clearance rate (percentage of cases solved) jumped from 26.4% in 2009 to 31.2% in 2010.
Total arrests were up about 8%. In the past five years, arrests have increased by 44%. Of the people arrested last year, close to 60% lived outside of the City.
As our numbers have declined to record lows, we must be cautious about drawing conclusions about dramatic increases or decreases in the percentages. For example, a decline in a category from 10 crimes to 8 crimes is not significant, but it would represent a 20% decrease.
We must also be careful to avoid complacency. Our community enjoys an excellent quality of life because the residents care and stay involved. We want to rid Boca Raton of crime, but our job will be much more difficult without your direct involvement in protecting yourself and communicating with us when you see suspicious activity.
We remain committed to the VIPER strategy. We will continue to enhance our Visibility in our neighborhoods and commercial areas. We will improve our Intelligence gathering capabilities through the latest technology and by leveraging our Partnerships with you and other law enforcement agencies. Our growing online presence (http://www.bocapolice.com/) and crime prevention Education iniatives will be targeted to specific problems and populations. Lastly, we will continue to efficiently apply law enforcement Resources to address community concerns.
The heart of our VIPER strategy is Partnerships. It all starts with the individual citizen choosing to be part of the solution. We look forward to continuing our excellent working relationship with you. Thank you and stay safe!