Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Crime Rate Down Again in North Port

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Crime Rate Down Again in North Port

Article excerpt

LAW ENFORCEMENT

NORTH PORT -- The story of North Port is typically one of growth.

Dozens of permits to build new homes are issued every month. The city's population increased by more than 4,000 people in the last five years.

But in that same time period the city has experienced a steady downward trend in one area that dramatically impacts residents' quality of life.

North Port's crime rate dropped again last year, just like it's done for the last five.

The amount of serious crime reported in North Port fell by 3.8 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to statistics the city's police department submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Uniform Crime Report.

UCR reports are based on the number of reported homicides, rapes, fondlings, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies and motor vehicle thefts events in a law enforcement agency's jurisdiction. Reported crimes determined to be false or baseless are not included in the UCR statistics.

In total 101 violent crimes and 856 property crimes were reported to the North Port Police Department in 2015. Comparatively, in 2011 there were 160 violent crimes and 1,373 property crimes reported.

In 2015 the amount of each category of serious crime, except motor vehicle theft, was below its five year average.

North Port Police Chief Kevin Vespia attributed the decreases to not only his own officers, but also those working for surrounding law enforcement agencies and engaged city residents.

"We encourage folks to call us when they see something that isn't right. Citizens know their neighborhoods better than anyone, and with their assistance we will continue to keep our residents safe and our quality of life soaring," he said.

"The increased use of cell phones with cameras and the affordability of surveillance equipment have increased the risk of getting caught," he added.

The police chief said his department works to make its presence visible throughout North Port to help deter crime. …

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