The overall crime rate in Tampa continues to drop steadily.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced Monday morning that crime is down nearly 25 percent in Tampa from just six years ago.
Almost every neighborhood saw significant drops in property and violent crime rates in 2016 over the previous year.
Ybor City had one of the biggest drops in property crime — a 44 percent reduction in 2016 over the previous year.
Violent crime was down nearly 15 percent.
“It’s definitely better than it used to be,” said Brennan Rodriguez, who said she is feeling safer than she ever has before walking to work.
Roberto Torres, Owner of the Blind Tiger Care, attributes the drop to two reasons: a new, stronger neighborhood watch and the fact that everyone in it has a number to text TPD when they see something suspicious.
“That has helped tremendously because when ever we see someone aggressively panhandling, or at night we see a suspect car we are able to report that very easily without using 911,” he said.
Mayor Buckhorn said the city’s new “Stay and Play” program was also a big help in keeping kids occupied over the summer.
More than 100-thousand kids are taking advantage of it.
“Although we can’t prove it, I guarantee you this program is saving lives out there,” he said.
One neighborhood that did not see a reduction is the South Howard community. It saw in increase of about six percent in property crime.
Chief Eric Ward said it is a work in progress because it’s a popular entertainment district.
“We have more people in that area. So in increased population the crime is typically going to go up, it’s up to us to develop a program to put enough information out there to gain the public awareness to keep those numbers down,” he said.
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