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Overall crime in Maine decreasing, but homicides and assaults see uptick

The crime statistics for 2018 released by the Dept. of Public Safety show overall crime is down by almost 10 percent, while homicides and assaults increased.

MAINE, USA — The new crime statistics are out for the state of Maine, and the numbers are looking up precisely because they are down. 

Crime in Maine decreased 9.3 percent during 2018, according to the Department of Public Safety. And it is the seventh consecutive year that crime has dropped in Maine for a total decline during the past seven years of 56.1 percent, according to the report. 

 Crime dropped:

  • -8.2% in 2017
  • -8.7% in 2016
  • -7.1% in 2015
  • -13% in 2014
  • -8.3% in 2013
  • -1.5% in 2012

According to the report, assaults and homicides did increase in 2018, but every other crime decreased. 

Simple assaults increased by 4.7 percent in 2018 (9,972 assaults were reported compared to 9,527 in 2017).

There were 23 homicides in 2018, compared to 21 in 2017. Of the 23 homicides, nine were related to domestic violence. 

The violent crime categories of rape, domestic assault, robbery and aggravated assault went down in 2018.

Domestic violence assaults decreased by 11.5 percent in 2018 (3,699 incidents reported in 2018 compared to 4,178 incidents in 2017).

Rape incidents virtually were unchanged, with one fewer rape reported in 2018 compared to 2017, a drop of 0.2 percent.  There were 447 rapes reported in 2018 and 448 rapes in 2017.

“Maine has traditionally been one of the safest states in the country and members of law enforcement truly appreciate the strong partnerships we have in our communities that have led to a seventh straight year of declining crime rates,” said Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck.  

Sauschuck said, while crime has decreased overall in the state, first responders' workloads have actually grown because of a "public health crisis." 

U.S. News and World Report ranks Maine the number one best state in the nation for public safety. 

The magazine evaluated the violent crime rate and the property crime rate in each state, as measured by the FBI in 2017. 

Maine was followed by Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Idaho.

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