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Criminal Mischief (10/24/2018)

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Crime stats report for 2017 released         

Crime in Maine decreased 8.2 percent during 2017, according to the Maine Department of Public Safety. It is the sixth consecutive year that crime has dropped in Maine for a total decline during the past six years of 46.8 percent. Crime dropped 8.7 in 2016, 7.1 in 2015, 13 percent in 2014, 8.3 percent in 2013 and 1.5 percent in 2012.

“The positive numbers are a team effort by law enforcement, prosecutors, the courts and advocacy groups. Six years of decreasing crime stats in Maine is unprecedented however drugs are still connected to much of the state’s crime,” Public Safety Commissioner John Morris said.

Four crime categories saw increases in 2017 – rape, assault, motor vehicle theft and homicide.

Rape incidents increased 17 percent for 2017. There were 448 rapes reported in 2017 vs. 383 rape cases in 2016. This is the third year that reported rape incidents have gone up.

Simple Assaults reported an increase of 2.2 percent in 2017. 9,527 assaults were reported compared to 9,320 in 2016.

Motor Vehicle Thefts also increased 2.2 percent in 2017 (792 vehicles stolen compared with 775 reported for 2016).

There were 21 homicides during 2017, compared to 18 murders in 2016.

All other crime categories went down in 2017.

Robberies decreased 7.1 percent for 2017 (247 robberies reported in 2017 compared to 266 robberies reported in 2016). This is the second year in a row that robberies have decreased.

Burglary decreased 16.9 percent in 2017 (3,316 incidents reported in 2017 compared to 3,991 incidents reported in 2016). Burglaries have decreased for six consecutive years.

Aggravated Assaults reported a decrease of 12.7 percent for 2017 (875 incidents in 2017 compared to 1,002 incidents reported for 2016. Aggravated assault, involves serious injury and usually involves a weapon or a threat of one.

Larceny-theft decreased 6.6 percent for 2017 (15,968 incidents reported in 2017 compared to 17,104 incidents reported in 2016). Larceny-thefts also have decreased for six years in a row.

Arson incidents reported a 35 percent decrease in 2017. (136 reported incidents in 2017 compared to 209 incidents reported in 2016. Estimated property loss caused by arson during 2017 was just over $5.1 million.

Domestic violence assaults decreased 10.6 percent in 2017 (4,178 incidents reported in 2017 compared to 4,675 incidents in 2016). This was the fifth year in a row that domestic assault decreased. The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence phone number is 866-834-HELP or www.mcedv.org and the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault's phone number is 800-871-7741 or www.mecasa.org . Both organizations have complete listings of local groups that offer help with domestic violence and sexual assault.

Crime in the rural areas in 2017 decreased 9.3 percent and crimes reported in cities and towns dropped 7.9 percent.

In the rural areas, patrolled by State Police, Sheriff's offices, Fire Marshals and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. Agencies reported a 9.3 percent decrease in reported crimes. Crimes that show increased incidents are homicide, robbery, and rape. Robberies increased 33.3 percent (36 incidents reported in 2017 compared to 27 reported in 2016). Rape in the rural areas saw a 40 percent increase (112 incidents reported in 2017 compared to 80 rape incidents reported in 2016). There were eleven homicides in the rural areas in 2017, compared to six in 2016. Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Larceny Theft, Motor Vehicle Theft and Arson all reported decreases.

Urban crimes are from communities with local police departments. Agencies reported a decrease of 7.9 percent in urban crime for 2017. Rapes and car thefts reported increases. Rapes increased 10.9 percent (336 incidents reported in 2017 compared to 303 reported in 2016). Motor Vehicle thefts reported a 5.7 percent increase of stolen vehicles (555 reported stolen in 2017 compared to 525 reported in 2016). All other urban crime went down in 2017.

The Uniform Crime Reporting Division (UCR) at the Maine Department of Public Safety tabulates the crime numbers each year. The numbers are based on reported crimes from local, county and state law enforcement agencies. The UCR statistics show that 21,803 crime index offenses were reported to police agencies during 2017 compared to 23,748 during 2016 for an overall crime rate decrease of 8.2 percent. 

The 21,803 crimes reported in 2017 represent a crime rate of 16 offenses per 1,000 people in Maine. That number compares to the national crime rate of 28 offenses per 1,000 populations in 2017.

The total number of adults and juveniles summoned or cited by police also reported a decrease in 2017. Arrests dropped in 2017 for the ninth year in a row. Adult arrests dropped 7.2 percent in 2017 (37,337 arrests reported in 2017 compared to 40,227 arrests reported for 2016). Juveniles arrested or summoned decreased by 5.2 percent in 2017 (3,055 arrests reported in 2017 compared to 3,222 juveniles arrested for 2016). 

The value of property stolen during 2017 was reported as $17,384,220 compared to $17,906,593 reported in 2016. Police recovered $4,819,306 in stolen property in 2017 vs. $5,106,200 in stolen property during 2016 for a recovery rate of 27.7 percent. 

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

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