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Crime and Arrests Plummet in Connecticut

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Governor Dannel Malloy's Office of Policy and Management has released new crime statistics for Connecticut, and the news is good, especially for Connecticut's urban areas.

According to the report, the index crime rate in Connecticut hasn't been this low since the 1960s.

Index crimes dropped by 18.2 percent from 2008 to 2013 -- listed by the FBI as willful homicide, forcible rape, robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, larceny over $50, motor vehicle theft, and arson. 

Criminal arrests dropped 27.3 percent from 2009 to 2014, and the prison population has dropped 10.4 percent since 2010.

The news was even more encouraging for Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven. The homicide rate in those three urban areas combined dropped 42 percent from 2011 to 2014. Violent crimes also decreased in those three cities.

Mike Lawlor, Under Secretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning at the Office of Policy and Management, said there are a few reasons why Connecticut is seeing a dramatic decline in criminal activity.

"First, police have gotten much better at doing their job than ever before, they are focusing on preventing crime rather than just responding to it," Lawlor said. "Second, there's just a lot of technology that didn't exist 20 or 30 years ago. Everyone has an iPhone with a camera on it. We have DNA technology. You know, it's almost impossible to commit a crime without being captured on camera. That helps, and through trial and error, we have gotten really good at risk assessment, sorting out dangerous and not-dangerous offenders, and focusing on the dangerous offenders."

Lawlor also credited the early identification, intervention, and treatment of at-risk youth for the reduction in crime.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series Where Art Thou? Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of Morning Edition, and later of All Things Considered.

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