DURHAM

Aside from complaints about high-speed traffic and occasional burglary calls, crime in this rural commuter town is no worse than its peers, according to Androscoggin County Sheriff Guy Desjardins.

“Crime is increasing here, but not out of proportion to other towns of comparative size and population,” Desjardins told the Board of Selectmen earlier this week.

He said the majority of calls have been about people driving too fast on Route 136. Although, due to current construction projects which block almost two miles of the roadway, those complaints have dwindled.

“There’s been an increase in accidents because of speed and that’s all about enforcement,” Desjardins said. “We do the best we can.”

He cited similar increases in other towns which have major commuter arteries running through them, such as routes 4 and 26, which run through Turner and Poland, respectively. Some of the problem is increasingly distracted driving among motorists of all ages.

“We see a lot of kids texting, ladies putting on makeup, guys shaving,” Desjardins said. “You name it, we’ve seen it.”

Citing a rash of summer break-ins, the sheriff recommended being vigilant about locking doors, windows and vehicles as the most effective deterrent. ACSD has three detectives, usually only one of which is dedicated to investigating residential and commercial theft.

The sheriff ’s office and Maine State Police alternate monthly patrols of Durham roads.



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