Florida Overview and Crime Rate Statistics
Florida is the third most populous state in the United States and is connected to the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean and the Straits of Florida. This gives the state the longest coastline in the United States. While this coastline has contributed greatly to tourism, agriculture and trading networks, the same geographical advantages have also been exploited by crime. Drug cartels and smugglers have always regarded Florida to be the most important factor in shipping their products to the North.
Florida has had a long history of trading in contraband. During the prohibition era, it was a hotspot for alcohol production, its transport, and sale. One of the articles published in the Orlando Sentinel describes the Flamingo Café as a center of fashion and illegal alcohol back in the days.
Florida Days of Lawlessness and Debauchery
When the badly implemented 18th amendment went into effect in the early 1920s, an intense rise in various kinds of crime such as illegal gambling, prostitution, bootlegging, corruption and violence followed the subsequent. The 1950s saw the emergence of organized crime in the state and the 80s were famous for their “cocaine cowboys.” Today there is a booming nightclub drug scene.
As proven in history, prohibition has always had the opposite effect on crime. The prohibition had such a negative impact on Florida that the newspapers in Miami called the experiment a complete joke as a reference to the rise of bootlegging in the region. The Chicago newspaper reported that the Floridian West Coast was the haven for the bootleggers, merely 2.5 years after the enactment of the 18th amendment.
Florida Crime in the 2000s
For multiple the reasons, the Italian mafia, which once had a strong foothold in the region has declined in power and capacity. The void left by the mafia has been filled with illegal businesses from Russia, Israel, and South America.
The New York Times has reported that the nightclubs in South Beach have become a thriving ecosystem for drugs and criminal networking. They open their doors to patrons till 4 A.M in the morning. Around 80% of the population that visits such clubs is recreational drug users. This indicates a rise in the drug trafficking in state and exploitation of the coastline.
The biggest threat to Florida comes not from Russian or Israeli black markets but the US-Mexico border. Florida has the potential to become a major hotspot for the transport of cocaine due to its poorly managed coastlines. This is hardly a new occurrence as in the 70s and 80s; the coastline has been extensively used to ship the product into the rest of the United States.
Pablo Escobar, also regarded as the king of cocaine who was responsible for 80% of the drug crossing the American border extensively relied on this particular American coastline. Once the king of cocaine was down in 1993, the void was filled by the Cali Cartel who rose to become one of the biggest cocaine cartels in the whole world.
The modern times face a threat from a new kind of source altogether. Florida has become famous for the spread of designer drugs. The chemical compositions of these drugs are tweaked in such a fashion that a lot of these are not illegal. As of 2017, however, the rates of crime have seen a downward trend in the region. Crime rates across all categories have reduced significantly, and 2018 will see violent crime go down beyond the national average. This has not happened since 2016. Both murder and aggravated assault have seen the reduction in their figures during this year.