Maine's Department of Public Safety has released its new Crime Data Report for 2021, with a few changes to the way the offenses are being categorized.

What's Changed?

There's a lot of jargon to the release from the DPS, but basically, it means that the new Crime Data Report doesn't look like any other that's come before. It's like switching software. Now, instead of crime being recorded by the FBI's summary Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data collection, it's being logged under Incident-Based Reporting (IBR) data. UCR data was divided into 8 categories, while IBR uses 21 more than the former method.

Why Does This Matter?

Because of the changes in the new reporting method, 2021 has now become 'year one' in crime data. There's no easy way to compare the 2021 numbers to prior years because the way the crimes are categorized has changed. For instance, instead of merely labeling crimes as 'thefts,' IBR divides them into categories like shoplifting, purse snatching, and such.

Was There a Lot of Crime in 2021?

Here's an example of some of the numbers:

Officials with Maine's Department of Public Safety say that despite the challenges in comparing 2021 to previous years, it's apparent that Maine is still in good shape and remains a safe place to live and work. The entire report can be found here.

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