From Jaguars games to the Jazz Festival to countless other artistic, sporting, and educational endeavors, Jacksonville residents are proud of all the wonderful things our town has to offer. But that doesn’t mean the River City is immune to problems. Like any major metropolis, Jacksonville has its share of struggles, chief among them the challenge of crime in our community.
Both violent and property crime rates are higher in Jacksonville than they are in most other parts of Florida and the United States, making it essential for residents to stay on the lookout. The better you understand crime in Jacksonville, the easier it is to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your property safe.
Property Crimes in the River City
As in the rest of the United States, the clear majority of crimes in Jacksonville are property offenses. In 2017, there were roughly 32,000 property crimes committed in the city. This translates to a rate of 36.42 crimes for every 1,000 residents. By comparison, there were 26.87 property crimes for every thousand residents in the state of Florida as a whole, roughly the same rate as the national average.
The most common type of property crime in Jacksonville is theft, with 23,000 incidents of theft last year in the city. There were also roughly 6,000 incidents of burglary, as well as 3,000 incidents of motor vehicle theft.
To keep property safe from these and other crimes, it’s important to place it in a secure location. Avoid leaving possessions out in your lawn or backyard. Even if they are relatively inexpensive items, leaving any belongings out sends a message that you are lax with your property, making thieves more likely to target you. Instead, put everything you can inside, and keep any items that are particularly valuable away from your windows.
Additionally, be sure to lock your doors whenever you are asleep or away from home, and consider investing in a lockbox or safe for valuables that you keep in the home. There are common locations that intruders check for valuables—primarily the bedrooms and medicine cabinets—so if they are locked away safely or hidden in an unorthodox hiding place, your valuables will likely be safer.
These efforts combined with an effective neighborhood watch program and security system make it much more difficult for thieves to access your belongings, or to even know whether you have anything worth stealing. In this way, you can stop theft before it starts.
Avoiding Violent Crime in Jacksonville
In addition to keeping your property safe, you should look out for your own personal safety, as well as that of your loved ones. Jacksonville suffers from elevated violent crime rates, with 6.34 such crimes committed per every 1,000 residents; by comparison, both Florida and the rest of the US have violent crime rates around 4 per 1,000 people. The most common violent crime is assault; there are roughly 3,500 of these crimes each year. Jacksonville also experienced roughly 1,500 robberies, 500 reported rape cases, and 100 murders in the last year.
As with property crimes, the best way to deal with violent crime is prevention. By avoiding dangerous parts of the city, you reduce your chances of being victimized. You can also keep your family safe by investing in the latest safety equipment for your home, as well as by keeping the doors locked and the curtains or shades drawn whenever you are not home or not awake. Combined, these steps make your house a less attractive target, whether for theft or for more explicitly violent purposes. Criminals are less likely to try to break into your home, and if they do attempt to do so, they have a lower chance of succeeding.
For more information on ensuring safety for yourself, your loved ones, and your property in Jacksonville, Florida, contact SafeTouch Security today.