Sarasota spring break beach crime based on booze, drugs

June 11, 2014 

SARASOTA — The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office crime data for a special directed patrol initiative on Siesta Key through March and April found it resulted in a much safer spring break.

Saturating popular beaches and village areas over the eight-week period with uniformed law officers was found to be a crime deterrent. Other findings:

• Out of 338 charges, nearly 75 percent were alcohol-related.

• 184 or 54 percent percent of all charges were for underage possession of alcohol.

• Second-most prevalent charge was for narcotics.

• Most serious charges were filed against residents, not visitors.

• Most charges were for incidents at the main beach itself, not in the village.

On Siesta Key, one more serious crime was reported during March and April compared with the same period in 2013. The number of charges increased 42 percent.

“More people in one place increases the potential for incidents to occur,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “By committing additional resources to one of the top destinations for citizens and visitors alike, we clearly establish that misconduct will not be tolerated.”

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