By Rachel Christian
Crime reports fell 9.7 percent in Osceola County from 2016 to 2017, according to numbers released last month by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).
The figures also show 685 more arrests made during the same time throughout the county.
The Uniform Crime Report (UCR) is a bi-annual look at the number of reported offenses and arrests made by law enforcement in each Florida County.
A total of 8,646 crimes were reported in Osceola County last year, and 11,643 arrests were made by all three law enforcement agencies.
Reported murder cases and homicide arrests both increased across the county, from 11 reported cases in 2016 to 17 cases in 2017.
Rape cases and arrests also saw modest increases, with 137 reported instances in 2016 and 144 in 2017.
Motor vehicle theft was the only other major crime category on the rise in Osceola County last year and it saw a 8.8 percent hike.
Instances of other major crimes decreased in Osceola County, including robbery (down 12.9 percent), aggravated assault (down 16.8 percent) and burglary (down 26.4 percent).
Burglary and robbery arrests also declined.
Authorities ramped up drug enforcement efforts significantly, making a total of 2,267 arrests in 2017, up 30.5 percent from the year prior.
Meanwhile, DUIs decreased 32.9 percent.
Counterfeit and forgery arrests were down, but more people were charged with embezzlement and fraud.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office made the greatest number of arrests out of the three law enforcement agencies, but the Kissimmee Police Department saw the great percentage increase. From 2016 to 2017, KPD made 468 more arrests, an increase of 30 percent.
The St. Cloud Police Department actually made about 20 percent fewer arrests, from 1,067 arrests in 2016 to 850 arrests in 2017.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations established the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program in 1930 as a nationwide, cooperative statistical effort to track arrest and offense reporting data.
Nearly 18,000 city, university, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily report through the UCR program each year on crimes committed or reported in their districts.