Most experts would predict that crime rates would increase as economic times become worse. However, as Florida and the rest of the U.S. are suffering through a lengthy economic downturn, crime rates seems to be dropping across the country. According to FBI statistics, violent crimes such as murder and manslaughter dropped about 10% for the first half of 2009 and property and theft related crimes have dropped 6.1%. Crime rates are as low as they have been since the 1960’s, according to the FBI.
The general idea correlating higher crimes rates with tough economic times is that people become more desperate and have more time on their hands due to unemployment when they face difficult financial situations. Some people suggest that the reduced crime rates are due to economic stimulus packages and extended unemployment benefits making it easier for people to endure the recession. If true, however, when these programs and benefits ultimately stop, crime rates may rise to a level more consistent with the difficult economic times.