|TRENTON – The Department of Law & Public Safety today released the 2015 Uniform Crime Report (UCR), which shows that the overall crime rate decreased by five percent compared to 2014.
Violent crime decreased one percent from 23,004 to 22,899, and murder increased four percent from 354 to 369. Robbery went down seven percent (from 10,492 to 9,743). Reports of various types of sex crimes, all categorized in the report as rape, increased by 43 percent due to a change in FBI reporting criteria, from 950 to 1,362 reported incidents. (Part of the increase is the result of a change in protocol which has resulted in more comprehensive reporting of sex crimes.)
“While the latest crime data shows a decrease in the overall crime rate in New Jersey, there is still considerable room for improvement,” said Attorney General Porrino. “Reducing the number of shootings and murders in our urban areas continues to be a priority for the Attorney General’s Office and the New Jersey State Police. The State Police will continue to support our cities in reducing senseless shootings and murders.”
The annual UCR, prepared by the State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Unit, measures offenses committed during the period spanning from January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2015. The report contains data on the rate of reported Index Crimes – offenses which fall into seven crime categories, including the four violent index crimes of murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, and three nonviolent index crimes of burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft. The UCR also contains separate statistical reports on bias crimes, carjacking and domestic violence.
The New Jersey State Police UCR Unit has begun to incorporate the revised Rape Definition effective January 1, 2015 into the State of New Jersey's Summary Reporting System. The FBI initiated the new definition on January 1, 2013 and was intended to be a more inclusive definition to provide a more accurate understanding of the scope and volume of these crimes. The new definition is anticipated to increase the number of reported rape offenses. Rape is now defined as penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
The revised definition:
- Includes either Male or Female Victims or Offenders.
- Includes instances in which the victim is incapable of giving consent because of temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, (e.g., due to the influence of drugs or alcohol or because of age).
- Reflects the various forms of sexual penetration understood to be rape.
To view the data, go to www.njsp.org/ucr/uniform-crime-reports.shtml.
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