Connecticut’s annual crime statistics for 2022, recently released, reveal a decrease in both violent and property crimes in the state. The report shows an overall 4% decrease in crime, accompanied by a 13% reduction in violent crime, including homicides and robberies. Property crimes also saw a 3% decline. These figures are consistent with a decade-long trend, with a 26% drop in overall crime, a 41% reduction in violent crime, and a 23% decline in property crime over the past 10 years.
Governor Ned Lamont stated that the report demonstrates Connecticut’s status as one of the safest states in the country, with crime rates below or trending toward pre-pandemic levels. However, House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora expressed concerns about the complexity of property crime numbers. He highlighted an increase in motor vehicle thefts, accounting for approximately 8.1% of property crimes or 7,209 instances. The report also found that 10.7% of property crime arrestees were juveniles.
Candelora further noted that car thieves have become more bold and dangerous, with residents of high-value vehicles being followed home and assaulted while trying to prevent theft. The report estimated close to $19 million in property loss from vehicle-related crimes, with 36% of that loss occurring in vehicles parked at homes. Candelora attributed property crimes to repeat offenders and expressed concerns about the declining number of state troopers, which he believes affects law enforcement’s ability to pursue certain offenders.
In response to the crime statistics, Governor Lamont highlighted the state’s efforts to enhance public safety, including the addition of 376 new state troopers over the past five years. He also mentioned legislation aimed at curbing gun violence, such as a ban on openly carrying a gun with the intent to display it in public and restrictions on handgun purchases. The state budget for FY 2024 and 2025 includes provisions for crime victims, system-involved youth, court-system operations, and public safety.
Christina Quaranta, the executive director of The Connecticut Justice Alliance, expressed concerns about the safety of Black and Brown youth in the state. She emphasized the need for investment in community, legal system reform, and support for individuals impacted by the legal system.
While the declining crime rates are encouraging, Governor Lamont reiterated the commitment to improving public safety and addressing any instance of crime in the state. Criminal justice advocates have rallied in support of legislative proposals, including measures to prevent police from lying to minors during interrogations and guaranteeing access to parole for incarcerated individuals who committed crimes before turning 21.