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While violent crime declines, Connecticut records more reported rapes for 2021

LtoR - DESPP Commissioner James Rovella, Governor Lamont (speaking) and State Police Colonel Stavros Mellekas.jpg
Brian Scott-Smith
James Rovella, the commissioner for the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, announced Connecticut's annual crime statistics for 2021.

Connecticut’s annual crime statistics for 2021 were released Monday, showing a 3% decline in overall crime. Crime has fallen 30% in the state over the last decade.

James Rovella, the commissioner for the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, who compiled the report, said while violent crime is down 9%, there was a 23% increase in reported rapes in the state last year.

That’s 148 more survivors reporting this type of violent crime in 2021 compared to 2020, which is on-par with the 806 rapes reported the year before.

“We’ve been digging a bit on why this is occurring,” Rovella said. “We believe part of it, a lot of it is a reporting issue. Some victims take some time to report it to us and we identified different cities and towns around the state.”

Rovella said the crime statistics weren’t complete because the state is still waiting to receive data from the FBI. The data in the report is from all municipal and state law enforcement.

Governor Ned Lamont praised the work of Connecticut’s police departments, but also community intervention policy.

“We’ve made the biggest commitment to diversionary strategies,” Lamont said. “Giving young people better options. Getting them off the street. Get them to more productive opportunities. If it’s a first-time offence, they’re a knucklehead and they do something dumb or even dangerous, see how we can get them back on to a better track."

The state budget signed into law earlier this year includes significant investments in crime prevention and reduction, especially involving gun violence.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.