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Monday, May 20, 2024

For the first six months of 2010, crime is down in both Gainesville and Alachua County compared with crime statistics from the first half of 2009.

Violent crimes, which include rape, robbery and aggravated assault, are down 25 percent in the City of Gainesville and 34.4 percent in Alachua County.

The Gainesville Police Department reported that rape is down 22.6 percent, robberies are down 20.3 percent and aggravated assault is down 27.3 percent.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office reported that rape is down 51.9 percent, robbery is down 47.1 percent and aggravated assault is down 31.1 percent.

Murder is the only crime in both agencies that has risen.

The number of murders in Gainesville has increased from two in 2009 to three so far in 2010.

For the ASO, there have been three murders in 2010 compared to zero in 2009.

Both agencies have also seen a decrease in property crimes, which include burglary, larceny and car theft.

For the city, burglary is down 14 percent, larceny is down 14.1 percent and car theft is down 21.9 percent. Within the county, burglary is down 31.1 percent, larceny is down 9.7 percent and vehicle theft is down 34.7 percent.

GPD spokeswoman Tscharna Senn attributed the dip in crime to several factors.

When Tony Jones became the police chief in 2009, he placed administrative lieutenants on patrol, thereby increasing police presence on the street.

“Any time more officers are on the road, there is less crime,” Senn said.

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Another reason for the decrease is community involvement.

“From the community, we get information about ongoing crimes and crimes that have already happened,” she said. “With that we are able to redistribute personnel to crime hotspots.”

ASO spokesman Art Forgey said he attributes the decrease in county crime to a fairly new community-oriented policing tactic.

“They got to know where the problem areas are,” Forgey said. “They each have a vested interest in the community they work in.”

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