Despite An Uptick in Drug Arrests, Crime is Down in Maine
The Maine Department of Public Safety says crime numbers are dropping significantly. Statistics show a 25% decrease in Maine over the past two years. Drug arrests, however, are on the rise, with a focus on prescription drugs and heroin.
Crime in Maine decreased by 14.9% during 2014, according the Public Safety report. That's the largest drop in the 40 years that Maine has tabulated detailed crime numbers. And when you pair that with a decrease of 9.1% in 2013, it shows the 25% drop over the past two years.
Public Safety Commissioner John E. Morris said in the release, "The past two years of decreasing crime numbers is encouraging, but also tempered with the growing drug abuse issue that all Maine law enforcement faces. As hopeful as the numbers are, drugs are still the driving force for most of the crime in Maine."
He said drug arrests did go up in 2014, from 5,599 arrests in 2013 to 5,801 in 2014. The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency continues to see significant abuse of prescription drugs and heroin and out of state drug dealers bringing illegals to Maine are on the increase.
Aggravated Assaults, which involve serious injury and/or the use or threatened use of a weapon, showed a decrease of 4.6% for 2014. Simple assaults decreased by 6.5%.
Domestic violence assaults showed a decrease of 7.7%. That's 5,067 in 2014 as opposed to 5,487 in 2013. The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence phone number is 866-834-HELP or log onto their website. The Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault's phone number is 800-871-7741 or you can log onto their website. Both organizations have complete listings of local groups that offer assistance.
The only category to show an increase was rape, with six additional cases reported in 2014. A chart released with the report shows the individual crime statistics over the past five years.