Crime in Maine drops for the seventh consecutive year

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Crime in Maine dropped for the seventh consecutive year in 2018, according to data from the Maine Department of Public Safety released Wednesday, but there were more assaults and homicides compared with 2017.

Adult arrests also increased, but numbers for every other category of crime went down.

The decline of 9.3 percent in overall crimes from 2017 to 2018 is the largest percentage drop in crime in the past four years.

“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 Michael Sauschuck, commissioner of the Maine Department of Public Safety.

One of the categories of crime that saw an increase in 2018 was homicides, but overall numbers remained low, with Maine consistently recording one of the lowest homicide rates in the nation. There were 23 homicides in 2018 — nine of which were related to domestic violence — compared with 21 in 2017.

The number of simple assaults increased 4.7 percent between 2017 and 2018, to 9,972 reported assaults in 2018 from 9,527 in 2017. Other categories of assault — domestic assault and aggravated assault — saw decreases in their numbers between 2017 and 2018.

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