MILFORD — Crime in Milford dropped by a significant margin from 2018 to 2019, according to the latest FBI Uniform Crime Report, which was released this week.

According to the FBI, violent crime dropped 22 percent in one year, and property crimes declined by about 9 percent.

Included in the violent crime statistic are non-negligent homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults. Property crimes include burglaries, larcenies (theft), auto thefts and arson.

Violent crime dropped from 37 in 2018 to 29 last year. Rapes decreased from 1 in 2018 to none last year, and robberies also decreased — from 25 in 2018 to 16 last year. Assaults in Milford have increased slightly, from 11 in 2018 to 12 last year

In property crimes, the city has seen a large drop in burglaries - from 193 in 2018 to 95 last year. Property crime as a whole decreased from 1,119 in 2018 to 1,028 last year. Larcenies did see a small increase from 846 in 2018 to 853 in 2019. There were 80 vehicle thefts in both years.

“Hard earned collaborative effort”

Police officer Mike DeVito, the Milford Police Department spokesman, said the 2018 and 2019 data was consistent.

“Milford is fortunate that we have very little violent crimes — homicides, sexual assaults and robberies,” he said.

In regard to property crime, Milford is home to the largest mall in the state.

“Obviously, that being said, not only are they a high taxpayer, they do create a large amount of nonviolent retail theft,” he said. “Thefts from vehicles at the mall and from shoplifting at various stores — that gets pretty consistent.”

DeVito said the low violent crime rate is a “hard earned collaborative effort.”

“There’s a lot of things that go into that,” he said. “It doesn’t just happen by accident. It’s all a work in progress.”

He added that the crime rate, over the last 10 years, has been pretty consistent.

“It has a lot to do with our positive interaction with the majority of our citizens,” he said. “There are a lot of hardworking police officers, a lot of vigilant work by citizens. It’s certainly a tribute to them.”

Additionally, he said the department also has success with the way it uses its manpower.

“We are very successful with officers on foot, on bike, on motorcycle, on boats, and in cars,” he said. “There a lot of eyes out there, so I think that we are able to deter a lot of crime, and one of the best ways to eliminate crime is to try to eliminate or minimize the opportunity.”

DeVito said Milford is “certainly one of the safest cities in Connecticut. You’d be hard pressed to find a city in Connecticut of our size.”

Mayor Ben Blake agreed, saying Milford “continues to be a safe place to live, as evidenced by the ongoing statistics.”

Blake said the city “has a terrific police department that continues to ensure that our residents have safe streets, and they do a great job making sure that we enjoy our quality of life.”

Milford’s commercial corridor brings thousands of people into the city every day, he said.

“We have a very robust commercial corridor, where we have a high volume of people coming to town,” he said. “While the rest of our crime statistics are very, very low, especially almost nothing for serious crimes, our property crimes are, to some degree, always a little bit higher than anything else because we do have a lot of activity in that commercial corridor. A lot of people are coming to Milford to shop and engage in our retail.”

sfox@milfordmirror.com