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Crime and Crime Rate Both Continue to Decline in PCSO Jurisdiction – Unincorporated Polk & Contract Cities

Crime and Crime Rate Both Continue to Decline in PCSO Jurisdiction – Unincorporated Polk & Contract Cities

PCSO Release:

Crime in the Polk County Sheriff’s Office primary law enforcement response area is down 10.4% in 2017. According to Uniform Crime Report (UCR) data, as reported semi-annually and annually to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), there were 823 fewer crimes in 2017 than in 2016 in the Polk County Sheriff’s Office’s primary jurisdiction.

The Sheriff’s Office’s jurisdiction includes all of unincorporated Polk County; cities contracted with the PCSO including Polk City, Frostproof, Eagle Lake, Fort Meade, Dundee, and Mulberry; and the town of Hillcrest Heights and the village of Highland Park.

“Despite an increase in population, crime continues to decline in unincorporated Polk County and our contract cities. We would not see this decline in crime if it weren’t for the ongoing and invaluable support of our citizens and the hard work and dedication of our full-time and over 3,000 volunteer members. We will continue to work together, proactively and effectively, to fight crime and keep our neighborhoods safe.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff 

There were 7,880 crimes in 2016 as compared to 7,057 crimes in 2017, a total reduction in reported crimes of 10.4%.  

There were decreases in all 7 crime categories: homicides, forced sex offenses, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies, and motor vehicle thefts. Violent crime decreased 12.2% and non-violent crime decreased 10.1%.

Overall incidence of crime was down 10.4% and the crime rate (crimes per 100 persons) is down 12.3%.

Crime in the Polk County unincorporated area and Sheriff’s Office contract cities:


Category 2016 2017
Homicides 14 11
Forced Sex Offenses 139 81
Robberies 135 133
Aggravated Assaults 1,086 981
Burglaries 1,748 1,475
Larcenies 4,124 3,790
Motor Vehicle Thefts 634 586
TOTAL CRIMES 7,880 7,057

Polk crime rate is at historic low.

Polk County’s crime rate in the unincorporated areas and contract cities (for which the Polk County Sheriff’s Office is responsible) also dropped from 2016 to 2017, according to the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) statistics reported annually to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The crime rate, which is the number of crimes per 100 residents, is down 12.3% from 2016 (1.87) to 2017 (1.64). This is the lowest crime rate ever measured in PCSO’s jurisdiction, breaking the previous record low of 1.87 crimes per 100 from last year. Reliable crime statistics in Polk County started in 1971, when the crime rate was recorded at 4.16 crimes per 100.

Since 1997, the crime rate in Polk County has fallen by 75%. In 2017, the Polk/PCSO crime rate was 48% less than the most recently release Florida state crime rate in 2016 (1.64 compared to 3.18).


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