MELBOURNE, FL - July 29, 2020 - According to an online news report published on FloridaToday.com, Brevard County crime rates have fallen last year in almost all major categories. The new crime statistics were provided in a new report issued by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. This is good news because the population of Brevard County has been increasing, while the number of criminal cases being investigated by law enforcement has fallen.
Brevard County's crime rate dropped by 3.2% in 2019. Brevard County's reported criminal cases per 100,000 people dropped to 2,438 in 2019. The numbers appear to fall in line with the statewide criminal statistics, which has also seen a drop in the number of crimes. Florida's crime rate for 2019 fell by approximately 5%. Brevard County observed the number of murder cases drop from 29 to 23, although Florida's murder cases rose 1.5%. However, vehicle theft crimes and rapes increased in 2019 for Brevard County, Florida. The number of rape cases in Brevard County climbed from 216 to 262.
Brevard County's Crime Rate in 2018 and 2019
Aggravated Assault: 1,635 (2018), 1,607 (2019)
Burglary: 2,262 (2018), 2,019 (2019)
Larceny: 9,612 (2018), 9,322 (2019)
Murder: 29 (2018), 23 (2019)
Rape: 216 (2018), 262 (2019)
Robbery: 336 (2018), 332 (2019)
Vehicle Theft: 880 (2018), 928 (2019)
According to Melbourne Police Chief David Gillespie, there does not appear to be one specific reason for the drop in the overall crime rate in Melbourne, Florida. The City of Melbourne had an astounding 6 percent reduction in the city's overall crime rate. The Melbourne Police Chief believes the drop is a result of a combination of factors including more people outdoors in the community, the department working more closely with the community, and the department working closely with people to report criminal activity. The Melbourne Police Chief believes that reporting crimes quickly helps to prevent additional crimes in the future. The Melbourne Police Chief gave a lot of credit to the community for helping to reduce crime rates in Melbourne, Florida.
The homelessness communities usually perpetrate crimes that are committed due to "Quality-of-life" issues, including illegal drug usage and extreme poverty. These issues are a top priority to help reduce crimes and to help protect the most vulnerable. The Melbourne Police Chief stated that by providing services such as health care, housing, addiction counseling, and other services to the county's poor, the crime rate drops. The Sherriff believes that you cannot successfully deal with community problems by always resorting to placing people under arrest. The Sherrif stated that other programs such as the county's weekly crime meetings with other police departments in other jurisdictions, adjusting to trends fast, and community outreach programs are essential to diminishing crime rates. True, stable connections with members of the community encourage people to speak to law enforcement when crimes are committed, and this is vital in deterring future crimes.
Crime rates do fluctuate each year. Melbourne Beach witnessed an uptick on larceny/burglary cases this year. In 2018, there were only 15 larcenies/burglaries reported. In 2019, that number doubled to 30 cases. As noted, these fluctuations can be significant. That is why it is important for law enforcement agencies to monitor their crime statistics each year and compare the statistics with previous years.