Crime statistics for 2015 are now out for Florida. The numbers show that overall crime has decreased in Hillsborough County, although the violent crime rate is higher, especially for murder and rape.
Only 18 percent of the counties in Florida had a higher arrest rate than Hillsborough.
Crime Overall is Down in Hillsborough County
The news about crime in Hillsborough County is both good and bad. Fewer crimes overall were committed in 2015, and also fewer property crimes were committed. Violent crime, however, increased.
Overall, the number of criminal acts decreased slightly in Hillsborough County in 2015, compared to 2014. With 31,390 total crimes committed in 2015 and 31,923 in 2014, the overall decrease was 1.7 percent. That may not sound like a lot. However, if you consider the population, then the drop in crime appears more significant. Hillsborough County’s population increased 1.8 percent in 2015. So the crime rate, per capita, actually went down 3.4 percent.
The worst news is that the number of violent crimes committed increased by 7.6 percent. On the other hand, property crimes decreased by 3.1 percent.
Violent Crimes Up in Hillsborough County
ost types of violent crimes increased in 2015 in Hillsborough County. Unfortunately, murder was up by 22.8 percent and rape was up by 23.2 percent, compared to 2014.
However, these crimes accounted for only a small number of the total crimes committed. In 2015, there were 70 murders (most committed with a gun) and 292 rapes. Compare this to the total number of crimes committed that year in the county, which was 31,390, and you can see why it is possible for the overall crime rate to decrease even while the murder and rape rate increased so much.
Other violent crimes also increased, with the exception of fondling, which decreased slightly by 0.5 percent. Robbery was up 10.1 percent, and aggravated assault was up 5.5 percent.
Property Crimes Decreased
Non-violent property crimes decreased. Larceny was by far the most commonly committed crime, with 19,562 incidents in 2015, a 3 percent drop from the previous year.
- Shoplifting was the most common type of larceny, with 5,057 incidents in 2015. It was down 0.4 percent from 2014, making the number of incidents almost unchanged from the year before.
- The second most common type of larceny was items taken from vehicles, with 4,741 incidents in 2014, up 0.2 percent from 2014.
- The third most common type of larceny was items taken from bicycles, with 2,091 incidents, and a significant 12.4 percent increase from the prior year.
- Larceny from buildings, by contrast, decreased 15.8 percent, with a total of 1,198 incidents in 2015.
In 2015, there were 4,111 charges of DUI, a 4.5 percent decrease from 4,304 charges brought in 2014.
How Does Hillsborough County Compare to the Rest of the State?
With approximately 1,326,000 people, Hillsborough County is the fourth most populous county in Florida, after Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. How does it stack up against other counties in Florida as far as crime and safety?
When looking at the number of arrests, Hillsborough County had the second-highest number in the state:
- Miami-Dade: 94,809 arrests
- Hillsborough: 61,633 arrests
- Broward: 57,784 arrests
- Orange County: 49,005 arrests
- Palm Beach: 48,610 arrests
Comparing Arrest Rates
We can see from the numbers above that even though Broward and Palm Beach Counties have a higher population than Hillsborough County, Hillsborough had more arrests, which makes it appear that Hillsborough has more of an issue with crime.
The differences are even more striking when you look at the rate of arrests per 100,000 residents. Looking at the arrest rates show that the most significant differences were not between Hillsborough and the other large counties, but between Hillsborough and some of the smaller counties. Hendry County, with a total population of only 38,096, had the highest arrest rate in 2015, with 9,754 arrests per 100,000 residents. Take a look at these counties that all had an arrest rate of more than 6,000 arrests per 100,000 people:
- Bay: 9,618 Per 100,000
- Monroe: 8,462 Per 100,000
- Franklin: 7,863 Per 100,000
- Baker: 6,178 Per 100,000
- Walton: 6,085 Per 100,000
- Okaloosa: 6,066 Per 100,000
By contrast, Hillsborough had an arrest rate of 4,650 per 100,000—lower than all of the counties listed above, plus some others. However, in total, there were only 12 counties in Florida that had a higher arrest rate than Hillsborough County out of a total of 67 counties in the state.
In Other Words, Only 18 Percent Of The Counties In Florida Had More Crime Than Hillsborough.