When it comes to deciding where you want to live, safety plays a significant role. And while Florida’s overall crime rates are below the national average, not every city within the state has the same safety profile.
The Sunshine State’s high property crime and violent crime arrest rates have garnered some notoriety, but there are also several safe cities within Florida. These safer communities provide residents with a beautiful living environment without the accompanying higher crime rates.
Using data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting average crime rate in Florida? (UCR) system, we ranked the safest cities in Florida by both their property and violent crime arrest rates per 100,000 residents. The resulting list includes cities of all sizes, from large metro areas to smaller rural communities. Each city is evaluated across a variety of criminal offenses, including homicide, burglary, vehicle theft, and more. Additionally, each city is rated on its relative safety by its crime clearance rate, which measures police efficiency in solving crimes.
In 2019, the property and violent crime rates in Florida declined, with the aggregate rate falling 24.5% compared to 2015. However, this decline is partly due to the state’s population growth over that time period.
While the overall crime rates in Florida have improved, the state has a long way to go when it comes to safety. As the nation’s most populous state, Florida still ranks in the top 10 states for both violent and property crime.
The state’s poor ranking for both crime rates and crime clearance is partly a result of its lagging technology, which has left some law enforcement agencies behind in the modernization process. In addition, Florida’s participation in the national crime reporting system remains low. Only 49 of Florida’s 404 police departments, representing less than 8% of the state’s total police department, submitted data to the national database last year.
Despite these shortcomings, Florida is making efforts to improve its status in the national context of crime. The state’s upcoming implementation of the new National Incident-Based Reporting System will help it catch up to other states in terms of data collection and analysis. The new system will collect 56 more offense categories, which is expected to increase transparency and accuracy. Until then, the FDLE is relying on estimation methods to evaluate the statewide crime trends.