Latest Data Shows Statewide Overall Crime Rate Up 1%

TRENTON – Attorney General Paula T. Dow today released the 2010 Uniform Crime Report (UCR) which shows the overall crime rate in New Jersey increased one percent compared to the previous year, while total violent crime edged up less than one-half of one percent.

“Our latest crime data shows a slight increase in the overall crime rate in New Jersey,” said Dow. “We must be aggressive and smart in fighting crime, especially during this economic crisis facing our state and nation.”

The annual UCR, prepared by the State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Unit, measures offenses committed during the period spanning from January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2010. 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.

According to the report, firearms were used in 67 percent of the murders, knives or cutting instruments in 14 percent, physical force 8 percent, and blunt objects in 5 percent. Twenty-five percent of the offenders were friends or acquaintances of the victim, while 16 percent were strangers, and 7 percent were relatives. In 52 percent of the murders, the relationships could not be determined. Felony murders accounted for 21 percent of all murder circumstances. Robbery was the motive in 52 percent of the 77 felony murders. Thirty-eight domestic violence murders were recorded in 2010. Drug-related and or gang-related circumstances accounted for 9 percent or 32 of the murders recorded. A total of 259 persons were arrested for murder in 2010, a 13 percent increase compared to 2009.

There were 74,244 domestic violence offenses reported by the police in 2010, a one percent increase compared to the 73,709 reported in 2009. The number of murders attributed to domestic violence circumstances decreased 3 percent (38) compared to (39) the previous year.

Bias-related crimes reported to police increased 13 percent in 2010, compared to 2009. There were 775 bias incident offenses reported, compared to 683 the previous year. Harassment accounted for 45 percent (351) of all bias offenses, while criminal mischief and property damage accounted for 38 percent (291). Racial bias accounted for 42 percent (324) of all bias incident crimes in 2010.

Nonviolent Crime (burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) increased two percent from 180,733 to 183,643. Burglary increased 5 percent, from 36,928 in 2009 to 38,794 in 2010. Larceny-theft increased one percent, from 128,304 in 2009 to 129,294 a year later. Motor vehicle thefts increased less than one-half of one percent, from 15,501 offenses in 2009 to 15,555 in 2010.

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