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David Wald (LPS) 609-292-4791
Capt. Al Della Fave (State Police) 609-882-2000 ext. 6514

April 01, 2008

Uniform Crime Report For First Six Months In 2007 Shows Total Number of Crime Incidents Down 7 Percent Compared to First Six Months In 2006

Drop across the board in violent and non-violent categories

Trenton, N.J. – Attorney General Anne Milgram today released the New Jersey Uniform Crime Report for the first six months of 2007 which shows the state crime index decreased 7 percent for the six-month period January through June 2007, compared to the first six months of 2006.

The index decreased for all categories of violent and non-violent offenses, with the number of murders reported was just one fewer: 184 in the 2007 period, compared to 185 in the first six months of 2006. There were 196 reported murders in the first half of 2005.

The overall violent crime category, which consists of murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, decreased 8 percent. The number of reported rapes dropped 16 percent from 610 to 511; the number of aggravated assaults dropped 9 percent from 7,832 to 7,121; and the number of robberies dropped 6 percent from 6,397 to 6,038. However, there was an increase in bank robberies from 81 to 110, and an increase in convenience store robberies.

Nonviolent crime – burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft – decreased six percent, with motor vehicle theft dropping 18 percent. The number of reported arsons decreased 13 percent. The number of domestic violence offenses decreased 3 percent and the number of reported bias incident offenses decreased 13 percent.

The overall crime index dropped in 16 of the state’s 21 counties, but increased by 15 percent in Cape May, 10 percent in Hunterdon County, 6 percent in Passaic and 8 percent in Somerset. The total crime index in Hunterdon was the lowest in the state. The index was unchanged in Ocean County. The largest percentage drop in the crime index was in Essex, but Essex also reported the most number of crimes.

The six month report for the first half of 2007, compared to the first half of 2006, reversed the increase in reported crimes between the first half of 2005 and the first half of 2006. The overall crime index had increased slightly in the first half of 2006, compared to the first six months of 2005, with violent crime increasing 3 percent and non-violent crime increasing less than one-half of one percent.

With the exception of the first half of 2006 compared to the first six months of 2005, the crime index in New Jersey has dropped in each of the last five years for the first half-year reporting periods.

“The significant decrease in reported crime for the first six months of 2007, compared to a year earlier, is a strong sign of the commitment law enforcement agencies in New Jersey are making to attack crime in their communities,’’ Attorney General Milgram said. “But the fact remains that until we personally feel safe on our streets and in our neighborhoods – until we feel safe when running out to a store for a container of milk or taking a walk in a local park – our job is not done.’’

Last fall, Milgram and Governor Jon S. Corzine unveiled a three-part anti-crime strategy for safe streets and neighborhoods that focuses on enforcement, prevention and re-entry, with its stated goals to reduce street gang and gun violence, violent crime and recidivism. The Legislature also toughened penalties for illegal gun possession, and in cooperation with the state judiciary, the Attorney General’s Office launched a pilot program in three counties this winter to expedite gun cases. The State Police has also begun a gun tracing program known as E-trace in partnership with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives.

The core of the law enforcement strategy is to encourage law enforcement agencies to move towards intelligence-led, data-driven policing strategies to map crime trends and target hot spots.

The overall statewide Crime Index total for the first six months of 2007 decreased from 109,983 reported offenses to 102,758 offenses, compared to the first-half of 2006. The total index for the first-half of 2005 was 109,442.

The Uniform Crime Report is prepared by the State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Unit based on information provided by municipal, county and state law enforcement agencies. The latest report records offenses from January 1, 2007 through June 30, 2007.

A copy of the report for the first six months of 2007 is located here …………………………... The 2007 Uniform Crime Report detailing statistics for the full year is due to be released in late summer or the fall.

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