Report: Maine Crime Down Overall in 2018; Assault, Homicide Up Slightly
A new report from the Maine Department of Public Safety says crime dropped overall in 2018, except for slight increases in simple assaults and homicides.
It's continued good news for the state that's seen a steady decline in crime since 2012.
Overall crime statistics dropped by 9.3 percent in 2018, making it the seventh consecutive year that those numbers have gone down. Crime dropped 8.2 percent in 2017, 8.7 percent in 2016, 7.1 percent in 2015, 13 percent in 2014, 8.3 percent in 2013, and 1.5 percent in 2012.
Crime categories that saw decreases in 2018 include rape, domestic violence assaults, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle thefts, and arson. There's concern among lawmakers that the decrease in rape and domestic violence numbers may be misleading, since they could be an indication that less of the crimes are being reported. The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence phone number is 866-834-HELP (4357), and the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault's phone number is 800-871-7741.
The two categories that saw increases in 2018 were simple assault and homicide. The number of reported simple assaults increased by 4.7 percent. (9.972 reported assaults in 2018, compared to 9,527 in 2017) There were 23 homicides during 2018, compared to 21 in 2017. Officials say, of the 23, nine were domestic violence related.
Overall, the highest decrease in crime statistics was seen in rural communities, as opposed to urban areas. And for the first time in several years, the number of adults who received summonses went up, while the juvenile numbers went down.