Crime in Maine shows a continued decline

Mon, 12/28/2020 - 1:30pm

    Crime continues to decrease in Maine for the eighth consecutive year, dropping -6.6% during 2019, according to the Maine Department of Public Safety. The total decline during the past eight years is -56.1%. Crime dropped -9.3 in 2018, -8.2% in 2017, -8.7% in 2016, -7.1% in 2015, -13% in 2014, -8.3% in 2013, and -1.5% in 2012.

    The 18,468 crimes reported in 2019 represent a crime rate of 14 offenses per 1,000 people in Maine. That number compares to the national crime rate of 25 offenses per 1,000 population for 2018.

    The total number of both adults and juveniles summoned or cited by police decreased for 2019. Adult arrests decreased -3.7% in 2019 with 36,412 arrests/summons reported compared to 37,809 arrests reported in 2018.  Decrease of -12.7% in juveniles arrested or summoned reported for 2019 with 2,491 arrests in 2019 compared to 2,852 arrests reported in 2018.

    “An eight-consecutive year of overall crime reductions speaks volumes to the hard work of our professional law enforcement officers, our partners, and of course the communities we serve,” said Commissioner Michael Sauschuck. “While statistics provide an important benchmark for all our professions, first responders and the tireless advocates we work with know that these numbers are, in fact, Mainers who have been traumatized by crime. We want the victims we serve to know that we never forget, and we are committed to working harder every day to bring you justice in a fair and equitable manner.”

    While the overall rate of crime decreased across Maine, Maine has seen an increase in certain areas.

    Violent Crime

    Overall violent crimes saw an increase of 3.1% in 2019, though robberies and homicides saw a decrease in the same time frame. In 2018, the total number of reported Homicide, Rape, Aggravated Assault, Robbery was 1,498 increasing to 1,544 in 2019.

    The violent crime rate in Maine continues to be one offense per 1,000 population compared to the national average of 4 per 1,000 population. 

    There were 22 homicides reported for 2019, compared to 23 in 2018. Of the 22 homicides, nine were domestic violence related.

    Robbery reports decreased by -15% with 193 incidents reported in 2019 compared to 227 robberies reported in 2018. This is the fourth year in a row that robberies have decreased.

    Aggravated assaults reported an increase of +1.7% with 815 incidents being reported in 2019 compared to 801 incidents being reported in 2018.

    Rape incidents increased +15% with a total of 514 incidents reported in 2019 and 447 incidents reported in 2018, an increase of 67 incidents reported for 2019.

    “It is important to remember that the data contained in this report relates to the number of crimes reported to law enforcement. According to the FBI, sexual assault continues to be one of the most underreported crimes,” said Elizabeth Saxl-Ward, Executive Director of the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “According to a Muskie study, approximately 14,000 Mainers are the victims of sexual violence each year, so it may in fact be good news to see reports of sexual assault to law enforcement go up from 447 to 514, perhaps an indication that more victims were willing to make reports to the police last year.

    Maine’s sexual assault support centers are always available to support victims whether they choose to make a report to law enforcement or not.

    If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, the statewide confidential helpline is available 24-hours a day at 1-800-871-7741 or visit www.mecasa.org                                                                                                          

    Domestic violence assaults decreased -0.3% in 2019, with 3,689 incidents reported in 2019 compared to 3,699 incidents reported in 2018. This was the eighth year in a row that domestic assault decreased.

    “It is important to place this number within context. The number of domestic violence assaults is but one domestic violence crime; this metric doesn’t speak to the other crimes that are used by people who commit abuse against their partners and family members such as strangulation, a devastatingly common behavior that advocates report seems to be on the rise in their work,” said Francine Garland Stark, Executive Director of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence. “Most victims of domestic abuse and violence never reach out to the criminal justice system for help, and their reasons are varied. But much of the coercive and controlling behavior that characterizes domestic abuse does not involve behavior that meets the definition of a crime, even though it can be terrifying and have traumatic impact on their lives. Maine’s Domestic Violence Resource Centers saw a 24% increase in calls this year compared to last year, so the needs for outreach and supportive services for survivors, along with accountability for people who abuse, is still great.”

    If you or someone you know has experienced domestic violence reach out to MCEDV at 1-866-834-HELP or visit www.mcedv.org

    Property Crime

    Property crime saw a decrease of -7.4% overall, dropping from 18,275 in 2018 to 16,920 in 2019, a reduction of 1,355.

    Burglary reports decreased by -13.6% in 2019 with 2,340 incidents reported compared to 2,707 incidents reported in 2018. Burglaries continue to report decreases for the past 8 years.

    Larceny-theft reports decreased by -6.7% in 2019 with 13,711 incidents reported compared to 14,688 incidents reported in 2018. Larceny-thefts also have decreased 8 years in a row.

    Motor Vehicle Thefts reports decreased by -26.7% in 2019 with 724 vehicles stolen compared to 776 reported stolen in 2018.

    The value of property stolen during 2019 was reported as $18,697,782 compared to $17,487,762 compared in 2018.  Agencies recovered $5,615,882 in stolen property in 2019 for a recovery rate of 30%. 

    Arson incidents increased +39.4% in 2019 with 145 incidents being reported compared to 104 being reported in 2018.

    Arson property value also reported an increase of +61.7% with the Property value being reported at $3,417,474 for 2019.

    Seven Year Maine Crime Summaries (2019 – 2012)


     

    2019

    2018

    2017

    2016

    2015

    Overall Crime

    -6.6%

    -9.3%

    -8.2%

    -8.7%

    -7.1%

    Rural Crime**

    XXX

    -13.3%

    -9.3%

    -7.3%

    -3.4%

    Urban Crime**

    XXX

    -8.2%

    -7.9%

    -9%

    -7.6%

    Aggravated Assault

    +1.7%

    -8.5%

    -12.7%

    +9.4%

    +1.8%

    Simple Assault

    +0.9%

    +4.7%

    +2.2%

    -4.1%

    -3.2%

    Robbery

    -15%

    -8.1%

    -7.1%

    -14.5%

    +2.3%

    Burglary

    -13.6%

    -18.4%

    -16.9%

    -14.6%

    -6.7%

    Motor Vehicle Theft

    -26.7%

    -2%

    +2.2%

    -4.3%

    +1.9%

    Larceny-Theft

    -6.7%

    -8%

    -6.6%

    -9%

    -8.3%

    Arson

    +39.4%

    -23.5%

    -35%

    +129.7

    -8.1%

    Rape

    +15%

    -0.2%

    +17%

    +2.7%

    +4.8%

    Domestic Violence

    -0.3%

    -11.5%

    -10.6%

    -7.7%

    -3.2%

    Murder

    22

    23

    21

    18

    25

    Adult arrests

    -3.7%

    +1.3%

    -7.2%

    -3.4%

    -5.3%

    Juv. arrests

    -12.7%

    -6.6%

    -5.2%

    -9.2%

    -9.7%