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Serious crime in county dips almost 10 percent

Statistics released Monday show a drop in murders, rapes and other crimes across the state.

By JIM ROSS

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 24, 2001


INVERNESS -- Major crime in Citrus County decreased during 2000 and the overall rate of serious crime dipped 9.7 percent compared with 1999 figures, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported Monday.

Statewide statistics showed the Florida rate of serious crime decreased 8.1 percent to reach its lowest level in 28 years. This was the ninth consecutive year the rate had decreased.

The crime rate measures the number of crimes per 100,000 residents.

For those purposes, the Citrus population was listed at 114,898 during 1999 and 118,085 during 2000.

Despite that population growth, Citrus experienced fewer rapes, aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle thefts in 2000than in 1999.

There were more murders (four as compared with two during 1999) and robberies (22 compared with 20), the figures showed.

Overall, Citrus reported 2,695 serious crimes during 2000 compared with 2,903 during 1999.

"Local law enforcement is to be commended for their ongoing efforts to combat crime and increase the safety of Florida's citizens and visitors," FDLE Commissioner Tim Moore said in prepared remarks.

"While this year's crime report is a good one, we must never forget that each crime involves at least one victim. Each crime has a real impact on a real person. We cannot afford to relax our vigilance or diminish our efforts to promote public safety."

- This story includes information from the Associated Press.

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