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Madison sees increase in violent crime

Savannah Reams: Greene Publishing, Inc.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement recently released its Uniform Crime Report for the year 2017. This report is an annual compilation of arrest and offense data from Florida law enforcement agencies. Statistics are provided for the state as a whole, as well as data for individual counties across Florida.

The statistics reflect what are referred to as index crimes, and are divided into violent and property offenses. Violent crimes are categorized as murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Property offenses include burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

According to this report, the State of Florida's overall crime rate decreased by six percent in 2017 compared with 2016, the lowest it's been since 1970. Violent crimes dropped 4.9 percent and property crimes decreased by 6.2 percent.

Despite Florida's positive statistics overall, Madison County's crime rate has increased in comparison with the previous year. There were 603 reported offenses in 2017 compared to a total of 596 in 2016. Thus, Madison saw a 1.2 percent index change. The overall clearance rate per 100 offenses increased from 39.1 percent in 2016, to 44.8 percent in 2017.

In Madison County, there was an increase in violent offenses, excluding the offense of murder, which saw a decrease. In 2016, there were 2 reported murders, and in 2017, there were none. In 2016, there were 9 reported rapes, compared to a total of 12 in 2017. 2016 saw 5 reported robberies in comparison with 2017, when the numbers doubled and a total of 11 were reported. 157 aggravated assaults were reported in 2016, compared to a whopping 192 in 2017.

Despite the increase in individual violent offenses, there was a decrease in property offenses. 2016 reported 168 burglaries. This decreased to 144 in 2017. There were 247 larceny offenses reported in 2016, compared to a total of 235 in 2017. Motor vehicle theft was the only category to increase, however it only increased by one offense, with a total of 8 offenses reported in 2016, and 9 in 2017.

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