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New report: Crime is down in Connecticut – with a few exceptions

According to a new report released Thursday, overall crime is dropping after a pandemic spike – but with some exceptions.

John Craven

Dec 15, 2022, 10:20 PM

Updated 552 days ago

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How safe is Connecticut? According to a new report released Thursday, overall crime is dropping after a pandemic spike – but with some exceptions.
The 2022 Trends in Connecticut's Criminal Justice System report shows violent crime dropped 9% in 2021 and is down 43% over the past decade. However, murders were up slightly statewide, driven by 10-year highs in New Haven and Hartford.
Connecticut fares well against other states, too. The state's crime rate is less than half the national average.
Despite the positive news, many people believe Connecticut is getting more dangerous.
"I actually thought crime was going up," said Veronica De Jesus, of Norwalk. "I didn't think it was going down, to be honest."
Those fears became a key issue in the race governor. After two Bristol police officers were murdered in September, Gov. Ned Lamont and Republican challenger Bob Stefanowski clashed over crime rates.
Although crime is down, the report notes that several metrics jumped, including rapes, arrests and incarcerations. Experts blame the increases on the COVID pandemic.
• Rapes: Up 23%
Domestic abuse groups said sexual assaults increased because many crimes went unreported during lockdown.
"We certainly talked to survivors who thought, 'The worst place I could go right now is the hospital' – again, where many survivors would go to have evidence collection," said Beth Hamilton, executive director of the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence. "I don't think it's something that's gone hugely up or down. I think it's been pretty static."
• Department of Corrections admissions: Up 43%
The report says that's because courts are catching up on a backlog of cases during COVID shutdowns.
"I think we're going to see more cases being disposed of and flipping from the un-sentenced population to the sentenced population," said Gary Roberse, executive director of court support services for the Connecticut Judicial Branch.
• Arrests: Up 3%
According to the report, the increase was driven by a 12% increase in motor vehicle arrests.
"Community folks are out driving at a higher volumes again, it's reasonable that we would then see that growth and that rebound somewhat in those motor vehicle arrests," said Kevin Neary with the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management, which compiled the study.
Despite the numbers – and the context – some say the perception of dangerous streets is reality.
"I feel pretty safe here, but on the whole, like, when you look at the news, the crime is definitely on the rise," said David Masku, of Norwalk.


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