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Violent crime down in Boynton Beach, Wellington; up in cities like Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens

Posted at 7:14 PM, Nov 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-29 05:44:25-05

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Data recently released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows crime is down 11 percent in Boynton Beach.

RELATED: Crime down in Florida for first half of 2018

The data compares the first six months of 2018 to the first six months of 2017. But that is not the only thing Boynton Beach leaders are talking about.

The same data shows violent crime, or the most severe offenses, in Boynton Beach was down more than 23.5 percent.

“It tells me we are doing some things right,” said Boynton Beach Police Chief Michael Gregory. “We have got a good number of officers on the streets day and night patrolling the city, working with our residents and business owners, implementing crimes prevention measures, and it looks like it’s working.”

When crime analysts asses the safety of a given area, they often look at two types of crimes: violent crime and property crime. Violent crimes include murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Property crimes include burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

Last year, Boynton Beach detectives spent their New Year’s Eve investigating a double homicide. Contact 5 found under the former police chief, Jeffery Katz, crime jumped 24.9 percent from 2014 to 2016. The most recent statistics (and decrease in crime) happened under interim-Chief Kelly Harris, who oversaw the department before Gregory’s arrival and after Katz's departure.

Boynton Beach is not alone. Wellington residents experienced more than a 46 percent reduction in violent crime during the first half of the year, compared to the first six months of 2017. Resident in Riviera Beach saw a 30 percent reduction in violent crime. So did residents in Lake Worth, which saw more than a 21 percent reduction in violent crime, according to the FDLE stats.

Despite a solid eight percent reduction in overall crime in Florida, some Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast cities saw an increase. Jupiter residents experienced a 23.4 percent increase in violent crime. Palm Beach Gardens residents saw a 57.7 percent increase in violent crime.

The largest increase in violent crime went to the city of Okeechobee, which saw an 800 percent increase in violent crimes.

See how your city or county agency compares using the interactive graph below. If the graph doesn’t load, click this link.