MANATEE -- The major crime rate in Manatee County dropped by 15.7 percent in 2012 compared to a year earlier, according to statistics released Thursday by the state.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there were in Manatee County last year 3,855.9 crimes per 100,000 population. That's compared to 4,575.3 crimes per 100,000 population in 2011.
Statewide, the crime rate dropped by 6.5 percent.
The statistics account for seven major types of crime: murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.
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In all, there were 12,909 total such crimes reported in 2012, 13.4 percent less than the 14,911 crimes reported a year earlier, according to the statistics.
The drops occurred in five of the categories -- but not in murders (which went from 15 to 26) and forcible rapes (which went from 109 to 141), according to the statistics.
The drop in the crime rate was not uniform across the county. In unincorporated Manatee and in the city of Anna Maria, where the Manatee County Sheriff's Office has jurisdiction, the crime rate dropped by 16.9 percent.
In the city of Bradenton, the rate dropped by 7.6 percent; in Palmetto, by 19.6 percent; and in Longboat Key, by 61.1 percent.
The rate increased within two jurisdictions, both on Anna Maria Island. In Holmes Beach, the rate increased by 82.3 percent; and in Bradenton Beach, by 5.6 percent.