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Criminal Mischief (10/30/2019)

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Crime report released

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Public Safety has released its annual crime report.

According to the numbers, crime in Maine decreased by 9.3% during 2018. It is the seventh consecutive year that crime has dropped in Maine for a total decline during the past seven years of 56.1%.   Crime dropped 8.2% in 2017, 8.7% in 2016, 7.1% in 2015, 13% in 2014, 8.3% in 2013 and 1.5% in 2012.

“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.  “Our core mission remains focused on developing trust and relationships with all of our residents to include a special emphasis on the victims we serve. While we’ve seen consistent reductions in crime in recent years, I believe the workload of our first responders has actually increased as we continue to staff the front lines of various public health crises. My thanks go out to all our public safety professionals and partners for the work they do on our behalf,” Sauschuck said. 

Only two crime categories had increases in 2018; simple assaults and homicides. Adult arrests also increased, but every other crime number went down.

Simple assaults reported an increase of 4.7% in 2018 (9,972 assaults were reported compared to 9,527 in 2017).

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

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

Early hands-free ticket numbers

PORTLAND (AP) — Maine law enforcement officers have written up several hundred motorists for violating a law that prohibits motorists from using hand-held electronic devices.

The Portland Press Herald reports that 232 tickets have been written since the law went into effect on Sept. 19. Fine and fees are $85 for first-time offenders.

Legislative analysts predicted that in the first full fiscal year that ends June 30, 2021, police could write 5,500 citations, or about 458 tickets per month.

Officers are allowed to issue a ticket if they see a phone in the hand of a motorist. Drivers are permitted to use hands-free calling systems or aftermarket Bluetooth devices to make and receive calls hands-free.

Bucksport meth lab

BUCKSPORT – The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency has located a meth lab in Bucksport.

For the third time since the fall of 2018, MDEA's Downeast Task Force and Bucksport Police have seized meth-making materials from a home in the area. This latest one is located at 396 Central Street.

On the afternoon of Oct. 27, Bucksport PD located suspicious items in a shed at the home and called in MDEA. An initial assessment resulted in activating the lab team. Three reaction vessels were recovered, along with other evidence was recovered. No arrests have yet been made and the investigation continues.

The Bucksport Fire Department and DEP also assisted. 

Vanity plate pushback

AUGUSTA (AP) — Maine vanity license plates with expletives and other language some may find offensive are coming under fire from some residents and lawmakers, but the secretary of state says such plates are protected by free speech rights.

The Portland Press Herald reports Maine stopped screening vanity license plate requests in 2015. Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says now only plates deemed likely to incite violence or that have things like racial slurs or Nazi slogans are rejected or recalled.

Dunlap says his office receives a “steady drumbeat of complaints,” but doesn’t believe the state’s previous screening process could withstand free speech lawsuits.

Two state senators planned to submit bills on the issue, but the Legislative Council voted Wednesday against accepting either bill for the January session. The lawmakers say they may try to raise the issue again.

Last modified on Tuesday, 29 October 2019 06:15

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