I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Monday, March 13, 2017

What Does an Analysis of the Crime Statistics from the Beach Show?

In the wake of the implementation of an open-container ordinance at Pensacola Beach's Quietwater Beach Boardwalk,
Miscellaneous crimes have increased 250%, Obstructing Justice incidents have doubled, and very dangerous DUI infractions are up 73% since open containers of alcohol were banned on the boardwalk.

Since the enactment of an open container prohibition on Pensacola's boardwalk, several crime categories have spiked at Quietwater beach:  Alcohol offenses except DUI are up 85%, Substance abuse complaints are up 200%, and retail petit theft complaints are up 167%

As we are lobbied to keep the current ordinance in effect, we are told that crime at the beach is way down.  I asked for and received the statistics and I've been able to analyze the data that was provided.

Since the open container ban on the boardwalk was enacted, some crimes are down--but here is the key...Many crimes are up in the wake of the change, most notably the number of DUI arrests are way up.

So, just as I assumed, the data on the crime shows a mixed bag, with some infractions going down, and some going up. 

This fact, combined with the fact that a one year look does not a trend establish, leads me to believe that we need to concentrate on enforcement, let the ordinance sunset, and keep our focus on punishing transgressors not punishing everyone for the misdeeds of a small minority of folks who act up in public.

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