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    Police-Fire Reports
    Tuesday, November 29, 2022

    In 2021, Connecticut overall crime down, murders and rapes up, arrest rate down

    The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services & Public Protection released its 2021 Crime in Connecticut report on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022 including this graph that shows the number of crimes per 100,000 people in both the state (blue) and the nation (orange).

    The overall crime rate in Connecticut dropped in 2021 after increasing in 2020, but murders and rapes increased last year, according to the 2021 Crime in Connecticut report that was released by the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection on Monday.

    For every violent and property crime reported from 2013 to 2020, the rate was lower in Connecticut each year than nationwide. (Federal data was not yet available for 2021.) But within Connecticut, the clearance rate on crimes dropped from 23.33% to 16.74%, the lowest point in a decade.

    The clearance rate is the percentage of crimes in which someone is charged.

    The report shows data, which is based on monthly reporting of crime activity to DESPP’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, from 2012 to 2021. All 107 law enforcement agencies in the state participate.

    The number of total violent crime offenses ― including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault ― has fallen from 10,361 in 2012 to 6,549 in 2020 and then 5,957 last year, according to the data. In 2020, the violent crime rate in Connecticut rate was 184.12 per 100,000 people, compared to a national rate of 396.41 per 100,000.

    The number of murders and non-negligent manslaughters in 2020 and 2021 have been higher than at any point in the past decade ― 147 and 150, respectively compared to 107 in 2019. The clearance rate increased from 55.78% in 2020 to 65.33% in 2021.

    Rapes increased from a low of 638 in 2020 to 786 last year, the second-lowest for the past 10 years. The 2021 clearance rate was the lowest in a decade at 20.74%.

    The number of property crime offenses ― burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft ― in 2021 was at its second-lowest point in the past decade, and lower than in 2020.

    Rates of robbery, aggravated assaults, burglary and arson were at their lowest points in the past decade. Larcenies increased in 2020 and 2021 but were still lower than any year from 2012 to 2018. Motor vehicle thefts spiked in 2020 but dropped last year, though not to previous levels.

    The number of missing people dropped by a whopping 22% in 2020 and then by 5% in 2021, the lowest point in a decade.

    The report also provided data for the number of personnel in each department. From 2020 to 2021, the number of personnel decreased in the Town of Groton, New London, Norwich, and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal police departments; stayed flat in East Lyme, Groton City, Groton Long Point and Ledyard; and increased for the Stonington, Waterford and Mohegan Tribal departments. Across those 11 departments, there was a net loss of 5 positions.

    Gov. Ned Lamont noted in a press release that the Connecticut State Police Training Academy is expected to graduate 33 new troopers by the end of October and plans to start another training troop in November.

    Democrats and Republicans find different focal points

    “This report shows violent and property crimes are down in Connecticut from the previous year, preserving our state’s status as one of the safest in the country,” Lamont said in a statement. “We must remain laser-focused on further reducing crime. Speaking as a father, a husband, and governor, one crime is too many.”

    Republican challenger Bob Stefanowski said in a statement the statistics are largely a year or more old, including when Connecticut was dealing with COVID-19.

    “Unfortunately for Gov. Lamont, the people of Connecticut aren’t stupid, and they’re not blind,” he said. “You only need to turn on your nightly news, open a newspaper, or talk with your neighbors to know crime in Connecticut is a problem and a growing threat to communities all across our state due to policies that have handcuffed and scapegoated our police and made it harder for them to do their jobs.”

    In another statement, Sen. Norm Needleman, D-Essex, said the report “paints a picture of an incredibly safe State of Connecticut,” noting that overall crime dropped by 2.76%, violent crime by 9% and motor vehicle thefts by 10.5%, and that while murders increased, the rate is still 37% below the national average.

    “As the First Selectman of Essex, I work directly with local police as the civilian chief and I know firsthand their levels of enforcement and engagement with the community remain strong,” Needleman said. “I'm grateful to police around the state for performing their jobs well.”

    But Rep. Greg Howard, R-Stonington, a Stonington police detective who serves as the ranking House Republican on the legislature’s Public Safety & Security Committee, said in a statement that the 2020 police accountability bill weighs heavy on the minds of officers, and that legislative Democrats “fostered a complete distrust of law enforcement across Connecticut and specifically in urban and high crime areas. It should come as no surprise that victims are fearful to report crime, especially crimes as sensitive as rapes.”

    He emphasized the downward-trending clearance rate and its impact on victims getting closure, questioning, “When will the Governor and Democrats listen to the police and find real solutions that allow them to get the job done?”

    e.moser@theday.com

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