Despite an overall decline in crime numbers in Pasco County for 2013, murders and rapes climbed, according to the Uniform Crime Report released by the Pasco Sheriff’s Office Tuesday.
There were 122 reported rapes in 2013 compared to 97 in 2012, 79 in 2011 and 76 in 2010.
Meanwhile, there were 20 murders last year, up from the 11 in both 2012 and in 2011, and 8 in 2010.
A total of 11,336 crimes occurred in Pasco County in 2013. That’s a drop from 2012 (12,201 crimes), 2011 (13,570), and 2010 (14,065).
Pasco sheriff’s office spokesman Kevin Doll said murders and rapes are hard to prevent due to a number of factors. Murders that are drug or gang-related are partially preventable through drug and gang activity arrests, he said.
The statistics on rapes combine rapes and lewd and lascivious acts.
“You can obviously try to prevent lewd and lascivious by trying to keep a better eye on kids, but we all know too well that when it comes to lewd and lascivious, it usually comes from family members or friends of family members that molest kids,” Doll said. “With rapes, 34 were domestic related, which is probably girlfriend-boyfriend, husband-wife. We don’t control bedrooms and other areas where sex occurs, so it’s hard to prevent rapes as well.”
He also said drugs and alcohol can also play a role in rapes.
The report featured 10 different categories, including murder, rape, robbery, auto burglary, and aggravated assault.
There were also 197 robberies, 802 aggravated assaults, 2,864 burglaries, and 1,231, auto burglaries.
“The decrease in crime is due to the hard work of our members and the partnership we have made with the community,” Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said in a statement. “We are still finding new ways to implement Intelligence Led Policing to enhance our fighting ability to protect our community and families. Although statistics do no always paint the whole picture, this information is indicative that we are moving in the right direction.”
The crime numbers decline includes a 17 percent decrease in robberies from last year and 38.6 percent over three years and a 20 percent drop in auto burglaries from last year.
The rape cases in 2013 featured 88 arrests, according to the sheriff’s office, which is a clearance rate of 72 percent. Of those incidents, 34 were domestic related, the agency said.
Of the 20 murders in 2013, 10 were classified as drug related. The 20 homicides netted 17 arrests or were “exceptionally cleared,” which means an arrest cannot be made because of the death of the offender, extradition has been declined, or other reasons beyond the control of law enforcement.
Much of the success in driving down crime numbers in Pasco County have been attributed by the sheriff’s office to Intelligence Led Policing. It is a method, implemented in 2011 in Pasco and used at other agencies worldwide, that varies, but can include the use of crime data, such as time of day, location, day of the week, and many other factors, to detect trends. Once those trends are spotted, deputies keep an eye on a particular area with increased surveillance.