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Courts and Crime

Maine's Overall Crime Rate Declines For 8th Consecutive Year

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Ed Morin
/
Maine Public
Former Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck at an anti-violence rally in the city in March of 2018.

In 2019, crime in Maine fell for the eighth straight year.

In a report released on Monday, the Maine Department of Public Safety says the overall crime rate declined by more than 6% last year. Since 2012, crimes have fallen by more than 56%.

Commissioner Michael Sauschuck says the decrease is due to several factors, but he says some of it could be traced back to better information sharing and collaboration across departments.

“Those things have always happened,” he says. “It’s just, I think they’re happening more and more all the time. And I think that’s impressive to see.”

While the overall rate of crime fell, violent crime did rise by 3% in 2019, and cases of rape increased by 15%. Advocates say the increase could be the result of more reporting of cases, which is a positive.

More than 18,000 crimes were reported in Maine last year, or about 14 per 1,000 people. That’s far lower than the average national rate.