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BOROUGH’S VIOLENT CRIMES SOARED IN ’06

The numbers of rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries and larcenies reported in Red Bank soared from 2005 to 2006, according to new crime data released today by the State Police.

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The 2006 Uniform Crime Report shows that the violent crime rate in the borough spiked to 4.2 incidents per thousand residents, from 2.4 incidents per thousand in 2005. Download uniform_crime_report_2006.pdf

The nonviolent crime rate was also up steeply, to 27.5 incidents per thousand, from 22.4.

Fifty violent crimes were reported last year, up from 29 in 2005. The most recent data include five reported rapes, up from 2, and 27 robberies, up from 13. There were no murders.

Overall, the number of reported crimes soared to 377, from 297, a 27 percent increase.

The borough’s overall crime rate, counting both violent and nonviolent crimes, was 31.7 per thousand in 2006, up from 24.9 in 2005.

The total crime rate for New Jersey was 26.4 victims for every thousands residents, compared to a rate of 26.9 victims per thousand in 2005. Monmouth County’s crime rate last year was 22 per thousand, up from 21.7 a year earlier.

Mayor Pasquale Menna told redbankgreen this afternoon that he hadn’t yet seen the report and could not comment. But he said he was already in the process of planning a press conference, probably to be held tomorrow, to address a number of recent crimes and incidents involving the police, including the near riot outside Chubby’s early Saturday morning.

The last few days have also seen a report of a slashing of a man in Marine Park as part of an apparent robbery attempt and the indictment of a borough police officer on aggravated assault and other charges arising from an incident 15 months ago.

“It’s been a very difficult week,” Menna said.

Police Chief Mark Fitzgerald could not be reached; he’s at a convention of police chiefs in New Orleans, we’re told. We haven’t yet heard back from Councilman Art Murphy, who serves as the governing body’s liaison to the police department.

Councilwoman Grace Cangemi, who’s up for election next month, told redbankgreen that she was reluctant to comment on the crime data report for fear of having it turned into a partisan issue.

“This is not Republican/Democrat issue,” she said. “I don’t want this to be a political thing. This is a matter of grave concern to all of us who live here.”

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