ACTING GOVERNOR, ATTORNEY GENERAL
AND STATE POLICE ISSUE ANNUAL CRIME IN NEW JERSEY REPORT FOR 2000
Statewide Crime Continues Downward Trend With 4 Percent Decline
- Lowest Crime Rate In 30 Years Means Safer Neighborhoods -
Acting Governor Donald
T. DiFrancesco, Attorney General John J. Farmer, Jr., Col. Carson
J. Dunbar, Jr., Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, and
Chief Vernon Henderson (Spring Lake Heights Police Department),
President of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police,
today announced that overall crime in New Jersey dropped 4 percent
in 2000, continuing a five-year drop in crime and criminal activity
throughout the state. The downward trend means safer streets, neighborhoods
and municipalities, the officials said.
The annual 2000 Crime
In New Jersey Uniform Crime Report (UCR) recorded an overall per-capita
crime rate of 31.6 crimes per 1,000 residents -- a statistic that
represents the lowest crime rate in over 30 years. The crime rate
is based on the federal Uniform Crime Reporting system designation
of the seven index offenses - murder, rape, robbery, aggravated
assault, burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft.
The New Jersey State Police Uniform
Crime Reporting Unit tabulated a total of 265,840 index offenses
in 2000 compared to the 277,472 offenses recorded in 1999. The 2000
crime index statistic represents the lowest number of recorded crimes
since 1972 when New Jersey reported 223,517 total crimes.
"The crime rate
in New Jersey has been dropping for the past several years, reaching
its lowest point in nearly 30 years. While the tough laws we've
passed in the Legislature have undoubtedly helped reduce crime,
the backbone of crime prevention will always be good, solid law
enforcement. As today's statistics demonstrate, New Jersey continues
to be a safer place to live and work," said acting Governor
Attorney General Farmer said,
"I am gratified by these new and encouraging crime statistics.
While the factors that influence crime are often complex, intertwined
and difficult to analyze, one thing is clear from these UCR numbers
- the overall crime rate in New Jersey continues to drop. And that
translates directly into safer streets, safer schools, safer neighborhoods
and, ultimately, a better quality of life for all New Jerseyans.
"I'm proud to say that
we in the Department of Law and Public Safety have encouraged -
and continue to witness - an unprecedented level of cooperation
among local, county, federal and state law enforcement agencies.
I believe this climate of cooperation, along with the everyday bravery
and commitment of those police officers who man the front lines,
has been an important ingredient of our success.
"Despite the continued
success indicated through these statistics, however, we can not
afford to become complacent. We will continue to work to reduce
violence and gang activity, to keep illegal weapons and drugs out
of our neighborhoods, to catch pedophiles, scam artists and others
who would exploit the Internet for illegal purposes and to deter
all manner of other criminal activity."
According to Superintendent
Dunbar, the annual Crime In New Jersey Report, Carjacking Offense
Report, Domestic Violence Offense Report and Bias Incident Offense
Report are prepared by the State Police Uniform Crime Reporting
Unit. Each report tracks demographic, victim and offender data in
an effort to identify specific problem areas and to allow law enforcement
agencies across the state to better track offenses and allocate
In 2000, the violent
crime categories of murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault
dropped 4 percent (from 33,579 crimes in 1999 to 32,276 crimes in
2000) - the seventh consecutive year in which violent crime dropped
across the state. The non-violent crime group of burglary, larceny/theft
and motor vehicle theft also decreased 4 percent (from 243,893 offenses
in 1999 to 233,564 reported crimes in 2000).
of recorded murders remained statistically unchanged in 2000, increasing
by less than one-half of one percent (from 287 murders in 1999 to
288 murders in 2000). Even with the recording of an additional murder
during the 2000 report period, the murder rate continues to represent
the lowest number of such crimes since 1967, when 274 murders were
crime categories report the following statistics:
- rape decreased 4 percent (from 1,412 crimes in 1999 to 1,352
crimes in 2000);
- robbery dropped 5 percent (from 14,251 reports in 1999 to 13,550
reports in 2000);
- aggravated assault dropped 3 percent (from 17,629 reported offenses
in 1999 to 17,086 offenses in 2000);
- burglary dropped 7 percentage points (from 47,135 in 1999 to
43,934 in 2000);
- larceny/theft declined 4 percent (from 161,363 reported crimes
in 1999 to 155,480 crimes in 2000);
- motor vehicle theft declined 4 percent (from 35,395 offenses
in 1999 to 34,150 offenses in 2000).
enforcement professionals throughout New Jersey can take pride in
the Uniform Crime Report being released today. These numbers are
more than just dry statistics. They represent a better quality of
life for the people in the communities we serve and we are committed
to doing our best to see that this downward trend continues into
the future," Chief Henderson said.
arrests for violent crimes dropped 5 percent in 2000 (from 15,358
arrests in 1999 to 14,522 arrests last year). Overall juvenile crime
dropped 6 percent from 71,567 arrests in 1999 to 67,532 arrests
the 2000 crime statistics with those of the nation and the Northeast
region, Attorney General Farmer noted that New Jersey's 4 percent
drop in overall crime exceeds the national and regional crime rates
- no change in the national crime index and a 2.4 percent drop in
the Northeast Region crime rate. Similarly, New Jersey's 4 percent
drop in violent and non-violent crime surpasses the national and
regional crime reductions as reported for the past year.
analysts note that from the police perspective numerous factors
are responsible for New Jersey's continued drop in crime, including:
- enhanced police training and revised education policies;
- the employment of innovative crime fighting techniques such
as community policing programs, bicycle patrols and other community-based
- the introduction of new technologies such as in-car camera systems,
mobile data computers and other technological advancements as
implemented in New Jersey's state and municipal police departments
over the past year;
- the implementation of a centralized State Police-operated Fully
Integrated Fingerprint Identification System (FIFIS) capable of
immediately identifying criminal suspects before they can be released;
- longer sentences which keep career criminals behind bars for
longer periods of time; and a
- better-educated, informed and wary public.
Crime In New Jersey Report contains seasonal crime rate data for
New Jersey's 54 resort communities located in Atlantic, Cape May,
Monmouth, Ocean, and Sussex Counties. An annual mean population
estimate has been calculated using the most recent year-round data
from the U.S. Bureau of the Census. It should be noted that the
seasonal crime rate estimates are not a complete measure of seasonal
population because they include only those persons living in rental
housing units or in vacant year-round housing. Not counted are the
many day visitors and persons who occupy campgrounds, hotels, motels
or bed and breakfast establishments or who stay with friends or
relatives in the community.
New Jersey crime report independently tracks the specific crime
categories of carjacking, domestic violence and bias crime (crime
categories not tracked under the federal UCR crime reporting system).
Carjacking incidents increased 11 percent from the 380 offenses
reported in 1999 to 420 offenses in 2000. Domestic violence dropped
4 percent from 80,681 offenses reported in 1999 to 77,680 offenses
recorded in 2000 and bias crime increased 5 percent from the 679
reports recorded in 1999 to the 710 reports in 2000.
of the state - urban, suburban and rural - also logged decreases
in criminal activity. Urban crime dropped 5 percent (from 169,346
offenses in 1999 to 160,108 offenses in 2000), suburban crime declined
2 percent (from 90,075 offenses in 1999 to 88,236 offenses in 2000)
and criminal activity in rural New Jersey dropped 3 percent (from
18,051 reported crimes in 1999 to 17,496 reported crimes in 2000).
notes that in 2000, no New Jersey police officers were feloniously
killed in the line of duty. However, 3,158 police officers were
assaulted in 2000, a one percent drop from 1999, a year in which
3,191 police officers were assaulted in the line of duty.
New Jersey Uniform Crime Report, Carjacking Offense Report, Domestic
Violence Offense Report and Bias Incident Offense Report are compiled
by the State Police from crime statistics and information supplied
by New Jersey's 481 full-time municipal police departments, three
part-time municipal police departments and the State Police (reporting
for 73 municipalities without local police services). In addition
to the full-time municipal police departments there are nine police
departments contracted by other municipalities.
arrest information and data are received from the Division of Criminal
Justice, New Jersey's 21 county prosecutor's offices, sheriff departments,
three county police departments and two county park police agencies.
Collectively, a total of 555 law enforcement agencies submit reports
to the State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Unit.
New Jersey Uniform Crime Report is available via the New Jersey
State Police Web Page at: www.njsp.org.
Printed copies of the 2000 UCR are available by contacting the State
Police Public Information Office at 609-882-2000 x6515.
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