Crime in Bay County decreased in 2020

Bay County Sheriff's Office

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Data from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s semi-annual crime report shows that crime in Bay County is down overall but not in every category.

One of those categories is murder. There was one murder during the first six months of 2019, and eight during the first six months of 2020.

The report also shows that burglaries have gone down by almost half, from 614 in 2019 to 389 in 2020. There were 52 robberies in 2019 and 38 a year later.

Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said crimes like homicides are more random, while burglaries or robberies have been impacted more by the pandemic.

“Typically when they commit a burglary they’re not going to do that in an occupied home and most people were home during several months during that time period,” Ford said. “That and good police work.”

Ford said that while the coronavirus may have resulted in an overall decrease in crime, the department has seen an uptick in domestic violence, mental health issues and child abuse.

Ford added that Bay County is currently at a 50-year crime low.

Data from the report shows that crime in most other counties in the area is also on a downward trend. Those not decreasing are Holmes, Calhoun and Liberty counties, according to the data.

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