It's good news for Maine, as the number of violent crimes across the state continued to decline in 2020.

Sometimes it's hard to believe crime is going down in Maine, especially when you report on it every day as I do. But, according to the Maine Department of Public Safety, Maine has seen its crime numbers go down for the 9th year in a row. The changes are not drastic, but they're headed in the right direction.

Crime by the numbers in Maine.

Overall, crime decreased by 6.1% in 2020. Over the past nine years, crime numbers have gone down by 62.7%

There were 17,347 crimes reported in 2020, which figures out to a crime rate of 14 offenses for every 1,000 people in Maine. Nationally, the crime rate was 25 offenses per 1,000 people in 2019 so, again, it's good news for Maine.

So, let's break this down. Adult arrests decreased by 15.9% in 2020 with 30,615 arrests reported. That's down from 2019, which reported 36,412 arrests/summons for the year. Juvenile numbers were also down, with 1,689 arrested or summonsed compared to 2,491 in 2019.

Violent crimes by the numbers in Maine.

Violent crime numbers were down in Maine, overall, with a decline of 4.9%. That figures out to 1 offense for every 1,000 people, which is 1/4 of the national average of 4 crimes per 1,000. Here's how it breaks down:

  • Homicides - unchanged in 2020, with 22 murders reported each year for 2020 and 2019. Of the 22 homicides in 2020, 5 were domestic violence-related. 9 were domestic violence-related in 2019.
  • Robbery - decreased by 11.4%, with 171 incidents reported for 2020 and 193 reported in 2019. This is the fifth year in a row that robberies have decreased.
  • Aggravated assaults - decreased by 3.1%, with 790 incidents being reported in 2020. There were 815 reported in 2019.
  • Rape - decreased by 4.9%, with a total of 489 incidents reported in 2020 and 514 reported in 2019.
  • Domestic Violence Assaults - decreased by 6% in 2020, with 3,468 incidents reported for 2020, compared to 3,689 incidents reported in 2020.

Where can I get help if I'm a victim of sexual or domestic violence?

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 the website for the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault. 

If you or someone you know has experienced domestic violence, reach out to the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence at 1-800-866-834-HELP 94357) or visit their website. 

Maine Department of Public Safety
Maine Department of Public Safety

Did any crimes show an increase in 2020?

Yes, there were three areas of crime that showed increases in 2020, including arson (up 23.4%), motor vehicle theft (up 18.4%), and simple assault (up 12.1%).

The Scary Stories of 10 Maine Multiple Murderers & Their Victims

Let's explore some of the darkest stories from Maine's criminal history.

20 Maine News Stories that Have Shocked Us Since the Year 2000

These 20 news stories, from the past 21 years, had an impact felt around the state. Here are the stories that captured our attention are listed in no particular order.


More From WQCB Brewer Maine