Crime is up in Levy County

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By Lou Elliott Jones

Gov. Rick Scott may be crowing about Florida having its  lowest crime rate in 30 years in 2010 with a drop of 6.6 percent, but Levy County experienced a 4.1 percent increase in crime.

The numbers released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Monday come from crime report information submitted by local law enforcement agencies to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

According to the report:

• Population went from an estimated 40,674 residents to 41,451 in 2010

• Murder was down from 1 murder in 2009, to none in 2010

• Forcible rape went down from 14 forcible rapes in 2009 to 11 in 2010

• Robberies went up from 13 in 2009 to 15 in 2010

• Aggravated assault went down from 249 in 2009 to 138 in 2010

• Burglaries went up from 486 in 2009 to 513 in 2010

• Larceny was also up from 685 in 2009 to 805 in 2010

• Vehicle theft was up from 72 in 2009 to 101 in 2010,

The crimes tracked are: murder, forcible sex offenses such as forcible rape, forcible fondling, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary/larceny and motor vehicle theft. 

All those crimes added up to a resident’s chances of being a crime victim going from 3,737 per 100,000 people in 2009 to 3,819 per 100,000 in 2010.

More people were arrested in Levy with 2,296 arrests in 2010 compared to 2,402 in 2009. Who did the arresting in 2010? The Sheriff’s Office arrested 1,356 people, Cedar Key arrested 64, Chiefland arrested 208, Inglis arrested 162 and Williston arrested 230 people. 

The clearance rate on the cases was 34.7 percent. The Florida Fish and Wildlife officers made 99 arrests while the Florida Highway Patrol accounted for 168 arrests.. The remaining nine arrests were by other agencies. 

While the county’s overall crime rate went up, the crime rate for the 34,025 residents in the unincorporated area of the county who are protected by the Sheriff’s Office, the crime rate went down a whopping 10.5 percent. 

It was the cities that showed the increase in crime with Chiefland showing an 80.6 percent increase in the crimes tracked by the FBI, Inglis with an 86 percent increase, Cedar Key with 31.3 percent and Williston with 9.4 percent. 

One whopping increase — 500 percent — in crime enforced by the Department of Environmental Protections’s Division of Law Enforcement is rather deceptive. That’s because six cases of larceny were the total number of cases.

The clearance rates for the county’s police agencies in 2010 was:

• Sheriff’s Office — 29.5 percent

• Cedar Key — 19 percent

• Chiefland — 51.8 percent

• Inglis — 36.3 percent

• Williston — 41.7 percent.