Violent crime in the state dropped almost 10 percent in 2014 compared to the year prior, according to an FBI report issued Monday.
Only three states — New Hampshire (11.9 percent), Vermont (19.7 percent), and Rhode Island (14.6 percent) — reported violent crime rates that declined more precipitously than Connecticut’s 9.7 percent. Puerto Rico saw a 10.1 percent drop as well.
In 17 other states, the violent crime rates increased.
The report also showed nonviolent property crimes in the Nutmeg state were down 3.1 percent — including a 7.6 percent drop in burglaries, a 2.1 percent drop in larcenies, and a 2.1 percent drop in motor vehicle thefts.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy touted the statistics at a press conference at the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection headquarters in Middletown, where he said the violent crime numbers build upon the 10.1 percent decline shown in the FBI’s previous annual report. He attributed the decrease in crime during his first term not only to members of law enforcement but also to “sweeping” criminal justice reforms and “smart” policies.
“Crime isn’t just about police officers, it’s about all of us,” Malloy said. “The drops we’re seeing are a direct result of the investments in housing that we’ve made, the efforts that we’ve delivered to eliminate homelessness, all the work done by our partners to end addiction and give people a second chance.”
He gave additional credit to partnerships like Project Longevity, an effort to unite law enforcement, social service organizations, and community members in the fight against urban crime. It is based on the premise that 3 percent of the population in any city is responsible for 90 percent of the violence. The idea is to target the individuals committing the majority of the crimes and offering the ones who want to get away from the street a full range of services from housing to job training.
Project Longevity was launched in New Haven in November 2012 and Bridgeport got involved in October 2013. Hartford also is participating.
While Malloy acknowledged homicide numbers this year in Hartford that have already eclipsed the 2014 numbers, he said the overall year-to-date violent crime rate continues to decline.
“There’s no way to ignore what’s happening in Hartford, but what’s happening in Hartford is not playing itself out in other municipalities,” he said.
According to DESPP Commissioner Dora B. Schriro, the new crime statistics reflect the lowest rate of violent crime since 1974 and the lowest rate of property crime since 1966. She said the rate of crimes committed with guns in 2014 was 16.7 percent less than 2010.
Malloy said it’s too soon to determine how much of that drop can be attributed to the 2013 gun law increasing the number of guns banned in Connecticut and prohibiting the sale of large ammunition magazines.
The FBI statistics for Connecticut show a 5.5 percent decrease in murders, a 12.2 percent decrease in rape, an 11 percent decrease in robberies, and an 8.4 percent decrease in aggravated assaults.
A spreadsheet of the state-by-state results is available at http://j.mp/fbi2014sheet