CRIME RATES DOWN

Today’s Star-Ledger has a comprehensive look at the latest crime stats in New Jersey. Users can access data town-by-town.

The trend is generally positive, except for a disturbing uptick in urban homicides. From the story in the Ledger:

There were 418 people murdered last year in New Jersey, the highest toll in a dozen years, and more than half of them were slain in major cities where officials have struggled to combat gun violence, according to a report released yesterday by the State Police.

Overall, crime in the state dropped 3 percent between 2004 and 2005, reaching its lowest level in a generation, the annual Uniform Crime Report showed. Most types of violent crime were down, including rape, which was down 9 percent.

Statewide, there were 26.9 crimes per thousand residents in 2005, versus a five-year average of 30.5, according to the report. In Monmouth County, the rate was 21.7, compared to a five-year trend of 23.1.

The picture is encouraging locally as well. Red Bank’s overall crime rate was 24.9 per thousand last year, down from 27.9 in 2004. Violent crime—murders, rapes, robberies, arsons and aggravated assaults—in the borough dropped to 2.43 crimes per thousand, from 3.65.

Both Fair Haven and Sea Bright reported no violent crimes at all last year. Fair Haven’s overall crime rate was 7.9 per thousand residents, while in Sea Bright, the rate was 23.09. All but one of Sea Bright’s 42 crimes reported last year were larcenies.

Crime was up for the third year in a row in Tinton Falls.

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