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Pinellas County sees drop in crime despite budget cuts | Crime

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Pinellas County sees drop in crime despite budget cuts

Pinellas County, Florida -- Numbers released by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Wednesday show crime last year saw a 5.8% decrease in the most serious crimes and a 5% drop in the overall crime rate.

This marks the fifth consecutive year with a decrease in the most serious crimes for the area, with an overall five-year decrease of 23.8%.

PCSO investigated 17 homicides in 2012, which was one of highest number of homicides in recent years and in 2013 that number dropped to 6, which is one of the lowest in recent years accounting for the 64% reduction.

Sheriff Gualtieri says the 23.8% decrease in crime over five years is particularly significant because it occurred despite a reduced budget of over $100 million and the elimination of over 600 positions, including 167 deputies, during that time.

"The numbers continue to head in the right direction - and it's a tribute to the day-to-day good work by all Sheriff's Office members who have worked tirelessly to achieve this significant and sustained crime reduction," said Sheriff Gualtieri.

The Sheriff's primary service area accounts for 50.4% of the total land area in Pinellas County which includes 13 cities, and provides primary law enforcement to 41.4% of the County's total permanent population.

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