Maine State Police investigate the scene of a homicide in this 2011 file photo. Maine saw a decline in the number of crimes reported for the seventh straight year in 2018. Credit: Kate Collins

Maine has seen a decline in most crimes over the past decade, but it’s been safer than the country overall the whole time.

Maine saw a decline in the number of crimes reported for the seventh straight year in 2018, according to data released Wednesday. The number of crimes reported dropped 9.3 percent from 2017 to 2018.

The most prevalent violent crime in Maine last year was aggravated assault, with a rate of 60 assaults for every 100,000 people. The most common property crime was theft, with 1,000 reported thefts for every 100,000 people.

Here are 10 charts that show how Maine crime stacks up with the nation’s.

Violent Crime

Nationwide, the rate of violent crime — which includes homicide, robbery, rape and aggravated assault — is almost double that of Maine. However, violent crime nationwide has been dropping faster than it has been in Maine.

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The murder rate in Maine — 1.8 per 100,000 people in 2018 — is less than half the nationwide rate.

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The vast majority of rapes go unreported, but the FBI has changed the way it collects data on rapes in recent years in an attempt at more closely approximating the number of rapes.

In 2013, the FBI removed the word “forcible” from the definition of rape and adjusted the numbers to reflect data collected by police departments using both the old and the new definitions.

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Aggravated assaults usually involve serious injuries and/or weapons. The national aggravated assault rate is four times Maine’s rate.

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The FBI defines robbery as taking or attempting to take anything of value by force or threat of violence. The nation has seen a steeper decline than Maine has in the past 10 years. However, Maine’s robbery rate has consistently been lower.

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Property Crimes

The rate of crimes involving personal property in Maine — which include arson, larceny, motor vehicle theft and burglary — is almost half of the national rate of 2,199 crimes for every 100,000 people.

Property crimes have been on a steady decline both in Maine and across the country since 2012.

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Arson — the intentional destruction of property by fire — is the only crime for which Maine has at times had a higher rate than the nation as a whole.

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Nationwide, the rate of stolen vehicles — 229 per 100,000 people in 2018 — is almost four times the rate in Maine.

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The FBI’s definition of larceny is taking property from someone else without using force, including bicycle thefts, shoplifting and pocket-picking.

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Burglary is the unlawful entry of a building or structure to commit a felony or theft. The use of force is not necessary to classify a crime as a burglary. This property crime has also been on a steady decline — both in Maine and nationwide — since 2012.

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