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Courts and Crime

Despite Drug Epidemic, Maine Crime Fell In 2016

PORTLAND, Maine - Despite the drug epidemic, the Maine Department of Public Safety says crime in the state dropped 8.7 percent last year, for the fifth consecutive annual drop.
 
Public Safety Commissioner John Morris said Wednesday he's encouraged, but still concerned about drugs that are "the driving force'' behind most crime.
 
The crime stats show arson increased 130 percent, rape nearly 3 percent and aggravated assaults about 9 percent. But other categories were down: Robberies, burglaries, thefts, simple assaults, car thefts and domestic violence.
 
The official Uniform Crime Statistics don't include drug crimes. But state data shows drug arrests were down as well, by 9 percent.
 
Spokesman Steve McCausland said the numbers don't show the full toll the opioid epidemic is taking on Maine. Overdoses are claiming one life every day.