“A Product of the COVID-19 Lockdown”: Total Crime in Jacksonville for First Half of 2020

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also reported that crime in the state decreased by nearly 12% between January and June.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – As Jacksonville turns the page in 2020, the city gets a glimpse of the crimes that were committed in the first half of the year.

According to First Coast News and police records, there were 177 murders in Jacksonville in 2020 (up 12% from 2019), most in decades.

The number of killings suggests crime has increased in the city, but according to FDLE records, the aggregate crime index, which includes reported violent and property crimes, in Jacksonville went up 6.4 from the first half of 2019 to the first half % down In the past year, as reported, theft, robbery and break-ins fell noticeably.

Local criminologist Kenneth Davis said this was due to changes in enforcement and the lockdown at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With a lot of people staying at home, with a lot of people out of work, the burglars have fewer opportunities to break into the house,” said Davis.

There were also fewer opportunities for robberies with fewer people at night, Davis added.

“But if things open up again in the second half, that number may well increase again,” said the Florida State College professor in Jacksonville.

In fact, Davis predicts the number of these crimes likely began to rise in the summer as more people in the community drop out.

“A lot of these crimes are casual crimes,” said Davis. “So when people have the opportunity, this situation is more likely to occur.”

According to the FDLE, some crimes increased in the first half of the year. Reports of vehicle theft and the violent crimes of rape and grievous bodily harm increased in Duval County alongside murders.

According to records from @fdlepio, the Jacksonville Comprehensive Crime Index declined 6.4% from the first half of 2019 to the first half of last year.

Though violent crimes – murder, rape, and grievous bodily harm – were on the rise. pic.twitter.com/XbckXLeaDQ

– Haley Harrison (@HaleyHarrisonTV) January 5, 2021

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