Cape Coral residents got some good news this week -despite budget constraints and fewer-than-planned officers, the city saw a significant drop in crime last year.
According to city figures, the Cape saw a 15.7 percent decrease in serious crimes reported to the state, officials said.
The decrease comes on the heels of a 9.4 percent reduction in 2008.
Crimes reported to the state are classified as "index crimes" and are serious transgressions against people and property. These crimes, which are compiled into the state's Uniform Crime Report, are murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.
The city saw a decrease in all seven categories last year, city officials said. Cape Coral police reported 4,565 of these types of crimes in 2009, down from 5,417 the previous year.
These numbers are preliminary and still are pending official review and confirmation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. An index crime rate is then calculated for the number of serious crimes per 100,000 residents.
Despite our economic woes, Cape Coral remains one of the safest cities in Florida for its size with violent crimes declining by 8 percent and property crimes dropping 16.2 percent.
Meanwhile, there is more good news on the public safety front.
In Lee County, the overall crime rate fell by more than 14 percent, the Lee County Sheriff's Office reported earlier this month, with violent crimes decreasing more than 16 percent. Homicides dropped nearly 30 percent and robberies are down almost 10 percent compared to 2008, Non-violent crimes fell by more than 15 percent countywide.
Every county patrol district saw a decline.
We thank our law enforcement professionals for their efforts. This is the type of crime news the public likes to see reported.
- Breeze editorial