UNION COUNTY, NJ — According to a recent report released by Department of Law and Public Safety, the 2014 Uniform Crime Report shows an overall decrease in crime for the county by eight percent from the previous year. Approximately 10 percent less violent crimes were committed, and seven percent less nonviolent crimes.
“Our latest crime data shows reductions in most major categories of crime. While crime rates can be influenced by any number of variables, there is no question that an important part of the equation is the skill and dedication of the men and women of our law enforcement community,” said acting Attorney General Lougy in a recent press release. “I am encouraged by this downward trend in the overall crime index and violent crime. Going forward, our commitment is to continue working collaboratively with our law enforcement partners at every level to further reduce crime in New Jersey.”
This might give citizens peace of mind with the recent car burglaries that took place in Clark just this past month on the morning of May 1. A surveillance camera showed three people in a gray sedan in front of a home on Wheatsheaf Road. Several items were taken from unlocked cars in the driveway.
Clark Police Chief Pedro Matos reported a total of 14 unlocked cars located on Thomas Drive, Wheatsheaf Road and Grove Street were burglarized that morning, beginning at 4:30 a.m.
“Very few personal items were taken,” Matos said in a recent news report. “It’s possible the suspects were looking for car keys that might have been left in the cars to steal the cars.”
So far this year, a total of 28 car robberies have been reported in Clark. The number of reported crimes in Clark from 2013 to 2014 decreased by 13 percent. The total number of nonviolent crimes also decreased by 13 percent in Clark from the year of 2013 to 2014.
According to the report released for the state, the total number of larcenies decreased by five percent. Thefts of car accessories and parts as well as thefts from cars accounted for approximately 24 percent of the total larceny thefts reported.
“The borough of Kenilworth reported similar recent findings when it came to the total number of larceny thefts in 2013 and 2014,” said John Zimmerman, Chief of Police in Kenilworth. There was an overall decrease in these types of crimes by almost five percent, reflecting the same data reported by the state.
According to Uniform Crime Report, larceny-related thefts account for the majority of crimes reported. Sixty-three percent of all crime reported by the state fell under that category with the exclusion of car thefts, which accounted for six percent of the total number of crimes.
The decrease in larceny could be due to a few reasons according to New Jersey State Police. Public awareness programs, improved lighting and anti-crime units have been established to protect communities throughout the state.
The report showed a reduction in the amount of violent crimes committed as well as robbery. There was a slight increase in sexual crimes, which partially resulted due to a change in protocol, which has resulted in more comprehensive reporting of these types of crimes. Rape crimes were the only crimes reported to have increased by a total of nine percent. Prostitution and commercialized vice crimes decreased by fourteen percent, and the number of sexual offenses decreased by four percent.
There was a slight increase in the number of drug abuse violations. There was a total of three percent more crimes reported due to the unlawful use, sale, possession and manufacturing of opium, cocaine and their derivatives, marijuana and hashish, synthetic opiates and other dangerous non-narcotic drugs. Only 20 percent of the arrests were due to the sale or manufacturing of these substances while 80 percent of the arrests were made for the use or possession of the listed substances.
The total amount of crime for Union County decreased by three percent from 2013 to 2014. The city of Rahway had the most significant difference in the total amount of crimes reported during this year, with an 18 percent decrease. Garwood and Cranford had the least significant difference in the total amount of crimes reported during the year, with a six percent decrease.
There were a total of seven types of crimes included in the report, including four violent crimes that were murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The three nonviolent crimes included burglary, larceny and motor-vehicle theft. It also contains statistics on bias crimes, carjacking and domestic violence.