The Uniform Crime Report (UCR) issued by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is in for the year 2012. Crime statistics for Santa Rosa County indicate an overall drop in crime of -6.7%. But what does that really mean?

The actual numbers are small. A drop in forcible sex offenses, for example, means the number dropped from 69 to 59 total offenses from 2011 to 2012. Murders dropped from two actual homicides in 2011 to none in 2012. Robberies went up from 16 to 27—an increase of almost 70%. Aggravated assaults are up from 137 reported in 2011 to 159 in 2012. Burglaries dropped from 722 actual crimes in 2011 to 597 in 2012. Larcenies are down from 1,621 in 2011 to 1,549 in 2012.

One interesting category on the UCR for Santa Rosa County is domestic violence and the breakdown that goes with it. The stats show domestic violence is down almost 7%. However, the two homicides in Santa Rosa in 2011 were domestic-violence related. There were no domestic violence-related homicides in 2012. Forcible rape is down 60%, from 10 in 2011 to 4 in 2012. Aggravated assaults, however, are up 10%, with 68 in 2011 and 75 in 2012. Threats/intimidate went up a whopping 42.9%—which equates to 21 in 2011 and 30 in 2013.

These figures are based on a population of 154,901 in 2011 and 155,390 in 2012. This brings in Santa Rosa's crime index at 2,491.

So what is happening in neighboring Escambia County?

Population and crime index reveals a marked difference between neighbors. There were 299,511 people living in Escambia County in 2012—up only 250 people from 2011. Santa Rosa saw an increase in the same time frame of 489 people. Escambia's population is approximately double Santa Rosa's, but the crimes committed there carry much higher numbers.

For example, in 2012, Escambia had 22 homicides. Santa Rosa had none. Forcible Rapes: Escambia had 162, Santa Rosa had 25; robberies: Escambia had 502, Santa Rosa had 27; aggravated assaults: Escambia had 1,756, and Santa Rosa had 193. There were 3,899 burglaries in Escambia and 597 in Santa Rosa. Escambia had 9,920 larcenies and Santa Rosa had 1,549. There were 680 motor vehicle thefts in Escambia County in 2012; Santa Rosa County had 100.

The overall crime rate per 100,000 people in Escambia is reported in 2012 as 5,656 and in Santa Rosa County in 2012, the crime rate per 100,000 people was 1,603.

When all is said and done, Escambia County is showing a crime rate increase of 5.5%, while Santa Rosa shows a drop of 7.0%.