Sarasota has a low crime rate, with about 1 violent crimes per 1000 people, and an average property crime rate of about 5 per 1000. Other metrics fairly common to many cities in America are present in Sarasota: there were 2 arson cases per 100k residents in 2010. This is up from 0 counts of arson the previous year, 2009.
The best bet for staying safe during one’s visit to Sarasota are to maintain situational awareness at all times (do not walk around texting or talking on the cellphone), ensuring that no items are left visible inside the car (use a locked trunk if it is big enough to contain anything you want to protect) and keep doors locked; these precautions will make it difficult for a thief to steal any item of value, whether it’s the car or anything inside. Moreover, avoid parking in dark places which are concealed from public view as much as possible.
As far as natural disasters go, Sarasota is not situated in a high risk area for earthquakes (like California), tornadoes (like Oklahoma) or hurricanes (like the Gulf Coast). It sits at 26 feet above sea level and has no lakes or rivers in the city limits Sandwiched between two bodies of water on all sides makes Sarasota susceptible to tidal surge flooding during hurricanes though, so taking precautions after a hurricane warning has been given is important. If traveling through the region during hurricane season, pay close attention to news reports prior and after any storms to stay abreast of the latest developments and get out of town if you are in an evacuation zone.
Some statistics about crime in Sarasota, according to CityRating.com:
Population (2005): 52,981
Crime Index (100 = national average): 93
16 murders, 15 rapes, 544 robberies, 0 bias crime/hate crimes, 904 assaults
Violent Crime Rate per 1k: 876.9 ##Arson Rate per 100k: 14.4
Sarasota has a total of 34 police officers on the force , or about 122 people per officer . For perspective on how many officers are needed for security of the city, look at New York City which has a population roughly 4 times that of Sarasota but employs nearly 13 thousand officers. This is compared to the 11 thousand officers on the New York Police Department’s payroll . Based on these numbers, Sarasota could afford to hire about 44 more police officers.
If one is arrested for a crime in Sarasota, they will most likely be brought to the Sarasota County Jail or the Manatee County Jail . The cost of bail is set by Florida law and judges have no control over it. It typically takes anywhere between 1-3 days to be released from jail after bail has been posted. ##Arson Rate per 100k: 14.4
Additionally, since Sarasota is a coastal town on Florida’s gulf coast, hurricanes are a threat to life and property. The city has a tropical climate with hot, humid summers and brief, temperate winters. Annual rainfall averages around 40 inches.