MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection released its annual crime statistics report for the 2021 calendar year, which showed a decline in overall crime compared to the year prior.

The report also found that, over the last decade, overall crime in Connecticut has dropped 30%, including a 43% reduction in violent crime and a 29% reduction in property crime.

Data from the report shows that between 2020 and 2021, the state saw a:

  • 3% reduction in overall crime;
  • 9% reduction in violent crime, including murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault;
  • 2% reduction in property crime, including arson, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.

Decreases in crime from 2020 to 2021

  • Burglary – decreased by 71%
  • Arson – decreased by 28%
  • Aggravated assault – decreased by 16%
  • Motor vehicle theft – decreased by 10%
  • Robbery – decreased by 5%

Increases in crime from 2020 to 2021

  • Rape – increased by 23%
  • Larceny – increased by 2%
  • Murder/nonnegligent manslaughter – increased by 2%

Reports of rape increased a dramatic 23%. Nearly 150 more victims came forward to report attacks, with victims no longer in isolation with their abusers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Reporting for a victim of sexual assault is not only difficult on the onset, but it is difficult to report one month or three months down the road,” DESSP Commissioner James Rovella said.

Leaders said new laws targeting juvenile repeat offenders are working.

“Allowing police departments to keep juveniles longer than the 8 hours, custody orders flow much better,” Rovella said. “Not only are we trying to save their lives, but we are saving the lives and physical injury of our citizens.”

2021 Crime in Connecticut Report

Officials said they have hired more than 1,000 officers while 360 have retired. The bigger problem that law enforcement agencies across the country face is the lack of interest from people who want to wear a badge.

“That’s a national trend,” Rovella said. “Not only with police but with fire and other public services. We are battling that as we go.”

Police departments across the state provide the data, then the Crimes Analysis Unit of the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESSP) puts together the report.

The report comes out each year in the fall. With only five weeks before the election in November, Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.) said he did not ask for the results to be revealed early as a way to gain political points.

Response to the Report

Gov. Ned Lamont (D-Conn) joined Rovella in Middletown Monday morning. The Democratic incumbent said he’s concerned about all crime.

“If there is a crime that happens in your neighborhood, your community, that hits very close to home,” Lamont said.

“Overall, crime is not down,” Bob Stefanowski, the Republican gubernatorial candidate said. “If you look at Hartford, for example, we had a double shooting last week, and an 18-year-old child was killed in Hartford.”

The report, however, shows that overall crime in 2021 was down compared to 2020.

Stefanowski said the state’s police accountability law that changed legal protections hurts recruitment.

“He’s [Lamont] ripped the heart out of police enforcement,” Stefanowski said. “He’s had no respect for police. They’re leaving in droves. The new number of recruits is down. And we’re going to bring back the respect, the funding, and protect police.”

Stefanowski called for a special session to reverse the law. Lamont said he’s more focused on illegal ghost guns but is willing to talk to lawmakers.

“I’m always happy to tweak and improve what we are doing,” the governor said. “I’d like to take a look at those illegal guns on the streets.”

House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora issued a statement, saying in part, “The Democrats have put the rights of criminals ahead of our police personnel when it comes to qualified immunity and other policy changes they have enacted in the last few years, and have exposed our sworn officers to unprecedented liability that has caused many to alter their procedures.”

The Lamont administration said it has spent more than $70 million to fight crime in Connecticut.

How Connecticut compares to the rest of the nation will become clear once the FBI crime stats are released in the coming weeks.