New State Crime Figures Improved, Again

Florida’s crime rate has dropped to its lowest level in more than three decades.

Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Guy Tunnell says the rate of violent crime dropped by three percent and rate of non-violent crime decreased by six and one half percent.

"Florida’s crime data for the calendar year 2004 shows the lowest crime rate in 34 years, and again this marks the 13th consecutive year that crime has decreased in the state of Florida."

Governor Jeb Bush says the decrease in the crime rate is the result of tougher sentencing laws that keep habitual criminals locked up longer.

"So the idea is that if you penalize the people that commit these atrocious violent crimes with longer sentences you make sure that people know that’s the case that you will see over a period of time incrementally a reduction in crime."

Bush says the 10-20-Life law that mandates a minimum ten year sentence for gun crimes is also having a major impact. The number of crimes committed with guns is down by almost 19 percent since 1998.