HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (970 WFLA) - Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said Friday that there was a 12.2% overall decrease in the crime rate for the unincorporated area of Hernando County in 2013 as compared to 2012.

Deputies say this decrease represents the fifth year in a row that crime rates have declined in unincorporated Hernando County. The overall five year decline is 40.1%.

In 2013, deputies say Hernando County experienced significant decreases in the following  areas:

-violent crimes - down 8.9%              

-bank robbery - down 100%              

-aggravated assault - down 10.6%   

-sex crimes - down 21.6%

-burglaries - down 17.1%

-larcenies - down 11.3%

According to the sheriff’s office, while the violent crime rate is down overall, the county experienced an increase in homicides, which went from two in 2012 to eight in 2013. They say all but one homicide were domestic related or justifiable, and the remaining one was found to be drug related.

The category of robbery - residence, which is commonly referred to as a home invasion, also experienced an increase, officials said. In 2012 there were eight, deputies said, while in 2013 statistics show 17 of these crimes occurred in Hernando County. A thorough review of the incident reports reveals that approximately half of these home invasion/robberies were drug related, deputies said.

“The quality of law enforcement in a given jurisdiction is only one of the many things that impact the crime rate. Although we cannot take complete credit for the decrease in crime, our role is a very important one. Common sense tells us that a lack of adequate law enforcement would eventually lead to an overwhelming increase in crime. One of the best indicators that we are making a difference is our clearance rates,” Sheriff Al Nienhuis said. “I am happy to report that our clearance rate is well about the state average and improved over last year. The dedicated men and women of the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, in fact, cleared roughly 450 more crimes last year than the statewide average. This means that about 450 victims received some sort of closure to their case. It is for this reason that I continue to be very proud of the hard work they do day in and day out for our citizens."