Why Does Florida Have So Much Crime?
It’s a well-known, perhaps well-worn, stereotype that Florida is full of crime. From the Florida-man memes to the highlighted stories on the local and national news, there’s a general assumption that people in Florida just can’t get along with each other, and they can’t help but commit (sometimes bizarre) crimes, but how true is that stereotype?
Well, there’s some truth to it, certainly. Florida does have some of the most dangerous cities, in fact, it has 11 out of the top 100 most dangerous cities. Although, it is worth pointing out, most states don’t even have 11 cities, so part of Florida’s high number on the list is simply because of its size (more on that in a moment). Also of note, in that list, the highest ranking of any Florida city is 20. That doesn’t mean Florida deserves a prize, but it does mean many places are more dangerous than any of those 11 cities.
In fact, Florida overall doesn’t rank that highly on the dangerous state meter. According to 247wallst.com, Florida is right in the middle of the pack in terms of danger at number 18. Consider its reputation, that really isn’t that bad.
That doesn’t mean Florida doesn’t have its problems, though. There is a lot of crime in many of the cities for several reasons. Clustering people together in hot, humid conditions that don’t abate for the entire year is a recipe for people to get fed up and act out. There is also always a rise in crime before and after natural disasters, which of course, Florida gets more than its share of from hurricanes.
There’s also a great mix of people in Florida, including a mix of races and socio-economic levels, which can lead to a lot of tension.
Perhaps one of the biggest issues, though, is that Florida is a tourist location, and it’s a location that doesn’t necessarily always bring the best tourists. That’s not to say all tourists are bad. Most are nice families going to Disney World or people looking to relax down in Miami, but there are some who come looking to cause trouble. The nature of having such a massive tourist economy built on a party image means some people come and party too hard.
In fact, law firms even advertise their ability to help out-of-staters who have gotten themselves into trouble, whether it’s drug law problems or a case of public intoxication.
So, there are problems down in Florida, but those problems are often exaggerated. Florida is the third most populous state in the country, and that means there will be stories there if you go looking for them. The same would be true in any other populous state (California, New York, Texas, any of those top few states, really). The thing is, no one goes looking for them there. Florida’s reputation is largely manufactured by the media because it sells well. People like the stories.
Which means, the reputation is unlikely to change anytime soon, even if the facts don’t match up to it.