FDLE report shows crime down across central Florida

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CENTRAL FLORIDA —

Crime across the state is down. That's according to a report the Florida Department of Law Enforcement released Thursday.

The 2012 Annual Uniform Crime Report shows Florida's crime rate dropped 6.5 percent from 2011, which was billed as one of the safest years on record in the state.

Violent crimes and property crimes are down almost across the board, but sex crimes have experienced significant jumps, according to the report. But despite the jump in sex crimes, experts told Heath that the study shows a much safer central Florida.

"For the most part, it's a tricky business to interpret crime statics," said Kenneth Adams, criminal justice professor at the University of Central Florida.

Adams has a background in analytics. He said taken as a group, the numbers are fairly reliable.

"Quite honestly, the big picture is quite optimistic," said Adams.

In every central Florida county, crime overall is down. The biggest drop was in Brevard County, at almost 9 percent, while the smallest drop came in Orange County, at just less than 2.5 percent.

"To see yet again a drop in crime, regardless of magnitude, would suggest that the trend is continuing -- that is, we have yet to bottom out," said Adams.

Experts said the rise in sex crimes is partly due to better reporting and better services for victims.

While overall crime across the area was down, some cities, including Orlando, Leesburg and Kissimmee, saw slight increases.