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Crime rate in Manatee County drops by 7.3 percent in 2014

The crime rate in Manatee County dropped by 7.3 percent in 2014 compared to a year earlier, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Wednesday.

There were in 2014 a reported 3,446.2 reported index crimes per 100,000 population, compared to 3,716.7 crimes in 2013, according to FDLE, which compiles the statistics based on information provided by local law enforcement agencies.

The 7.3 percent drop is more than twice the size of the drop in 2013 -- 3.6 percent.

The index crimes are murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault (which includes forcible fondling), burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

In all, there were 11,855 index crimes reported in Manatee in 2014, compared to 12,576 a year earlier.

In Manatee, there were increases in the numbers of murders (from 13 to 14); rapes (from 209 to 213); aggravated assaults; and motor vehicle thefts. There were decreases in the numbers of robberies, burglaries and larcenies, according to FDLE.

For Manatee County, here is how crime rates increased or dropped in each of the county's jurisdictions:

-- Unincorporated Manatee and Anna Maria (patrolled by Manatee County Sheriff's Office): Down 8.5 percent.

-- Bradenton: Down 1.7 percent.

-- Palmetto: Down 15.4 percent.

-- Holmes Beach: Up 26.3 percent.

-- Bradenton Beach: Down 60.2 percent.

-- Longboat Key: Up 9.7 percent.

In Sarasota County, the crime rate dropped by 10.8 percent in 2014.

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