Crime continues to decrease in Maine for 9th consecutive year

From the desk of Shannon Moss, DPS PIO

Crime in Maine decreased -6.1% during 2020, according to the Maine Department of Public Safety. It is the ninth consecutive year that crime has dropped in Maine for a total decline during the past nine years of -62.7%.  Crime dropped -6.6 in 2019, -9.3 in 2018, -8.2% in 2017, -8.7% in 2016, -7.1% in 2015, -13% in 2014, -8.3% in 2013, and -1.5% in 2012.

The 17,347 crimes reported in 2020 represent a crime rate of 14 offenses per 1,000 people in Maine. That number compares to the national crime rate of 25 offenses per 1,000 population for 2019.  
The total number of both adults and juveniles summoned or cited by police decreased for 2020.  Adult arrests decreased -15.9% in 2020 with 30,615 arrest reported and 2019 reporting 36,412 arrests/summons for the year. Juveniles also showed a decrease of -32.1% in 2020 with 1,689 juveniles being arrested or summonsed compared to 2,491 arrests for 2019.  

“Maine’s law enforcement professionals and our amazing community partners have delivered a ninth straight year of crime reduction and we truly thank you for your compassion and dedication to our residents,” said Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck. “Our complex world was complicated further with ongoing covid related protocols and safety concerns, but you selflessly reported for duty. This is just the latest example of your willingness to evolve as a profession and I look forward to further enhancing our efforts to Protect and Serve,” Sauschuck said.

Violent Crime

Overall violent crimes saw a decrease of -4.9% for 2020. 
Violent crime categories include homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assaults.  

The crime rate for violent crime in Maine continues to be one offense per 1,000 population compared to the national average of 4 per 1,000 population.  

Homicides remained the same for 2020, with 22 reported for 2020, also for 2019. Of the 22 homicides for 2020, 5 were domestic violence related. Nine were domestic violence related in 2019.

Robbery reported a decrease of -11.4% with 171 incidents reported for 2020 and 193 incidents reported for 2019. This is the fifth year in a row that robberies have decreased.

Aggravated assaults reported a decrease of -3.1% with 790 incidents being reported in 2020 vs. 815 incidents being reported in 2019.
Rape incidents decreased -4.9% with a total of 489 incidents reported in 2020 and 514 incidents reported in 2019, a decrease of 25 incidents reported for 2020. 

“The number of rapes reported to law enforcement in 2020 points to the significant trauma many Mainers have endured. And yet, according the Muskie School’s Maine Crime Victimization Survey, we know that an estimated 14,000 Mainers will experience this crime each year, indicating that the vast majority of survivors are not reporting to law enforcement – a fact that has been further influenced by this pandemic,” said Elizabeth Ward Saxl, Executive Director of the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault. 
Maine’s sexual assault support centers are always available to support victims whether they choose to make a report to law enforcement or not. 
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, the statewide confidential helpline is available 24-hours a day at 1-800-871-7741 or visit

Domestic violence assaults decreased -6% in 2020, with 3,468 incidents reported for 2020 compared 3,689 incidents reported in 2020.  

“Sadly, the reduction in calls to law enforcement regarding domestic violence raises more concerns than hopes for the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence. There has been no similar reduction in the numbers of domestic violence victims reaching out to our 24-hour helplines,” said Francine Garland Stark, Executive Director of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence. “Maine’s Domestic Violence Resource Centers provided critical assistance to more than 11,000 adults in crisis in FY 2021 and calls with survivors were up 13% compared to the previous year. The criminal justice system is an important component of our community’s safety net for adult and child victims of domestic violence, but it is essential that we recognize that effectively intervening and ending domestic violence requires a multi-layered and community-wide approach in which those who believe they can treat their intimate partners and families horribly will be convinced to change their beliefs and abusive behavior, and that those they harm are supported to be safe and secure.”

If someone you know has experienced domestic violence reach out to MCEDV at 1-866-834-HELP (4357) or visit

Property Crime

Property Crime saw a decrease of -6.2% overall, dropping from 17,113 in 2019 to 16,046 in 2020, a reduction of 1,067. Property crime categories include burglary, larceny/theft, motor vehicle Theft, and arson.


Burglary reports decreased -13.7% in 2020 with 2,019 incidents reported in 2020 and 2,340 incidents reported in 2019.   

Larceny-theft reported a decreased of -6.5% in 2020 with 12,820 incidents reported in 2020 and 13,711 incidents reported in 2019.  

Motor Vehicle Thefts reported an increase of +18.4% in 2020 with 857 vehicles reported stolen and 724 vehicles stolen in 2019. 

The value of property stolen during 2020 was reported as $18,426,296 with 2019 reporting $18,697,782 Agencies recovered $5,839,052 in stolen property in 2020 for a recovery rate of 31.7%. 

Arson incidents also showed an increase of +23.4% for 2020 with 179 incidents being reported vs. 145 being reported for 2019. 

Arson property value reported a decrease of -14.5% with the Property value being reported at $2,923,249 for 2020.

Crime in Maine 2020 Chart


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