Crime rate down significantly for 2020


Numbers compiled by the Sheriff’s Office show a continuing decrease in overall crime of 17.2 percent for 2020 in Monroe County.


To put that continuing decrease in context consider: Crime is down 51 percent from where it was in 2015.


Meanwhile, the clearance rate of crimes in 2020 was 46.6 percent, up from an outstanding 43 percent for 2019.


In other words: The instances of reported crime has never been lower while our ability to solve crime has never been higher.


And for perspective: The Sheriff’s Office has a clearance rate that is approximately 84 percent higher than the state average. (The state average is 25.3 percent)


This solve-rate on crimes has improved steadily over the years. In 2012, the clearance rate stood at 24.2 percent. It has improved each subsequent year.


“I’m very happy to report crime continues to significantly fall in Monroe County as our clearance rates — the reported number of crimes solved — also continues to soar as we are now more than 80 percent higher than the state average,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “These figures are a testament to my commitment to community policing, your commitment to helping us solve and deter crime and to the hardworking men and women of the Sheriff’s Office.”


The Sheriff’s Office saw burglaries drop from 86 to 58 reported instances, while larceny crimes, which include theft, shoplifting, theft from a motor vehicle and bicycle thefts, dropped from 557 to 436 reported instances.


Some violent crimes saw an increase and others decreased; crimes like murder, rape and robbery occur in extremely low numbers in Monroe County, so a difference of just a few crimes can make a big difference in the percentage of increase or decrease from year to year.


These numbers are reported to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The FDLE compiles all such statistics for the state of Florida each year. These figures represent all areas of Monroe County excluding the city of Key West. The Key West Police Department submits their own similar report to FDLE.


There are two ways to clear a case: by arrest or “Cleared by Exception”, which means an offender has been identified but there is something beyond the agency’s control which keeps that offender from being arrested. An example would be that the offender is dead, extradition from another jurisdiction is denied, or the case involves a juvenile offender who cannot be charged for some reason.