N.J. – Attorney General Anne Milgram
today released the 2007 Uniform Crime Report
which shows the overall crime rate in New
Jersey dropped four percent compared to
2006, with a significant 11 percent drop
in the number of murders reported statewide
was the sixth year in a row that the overall
crime rate had dropped, and a reversal in
what had been a two-year upward climb in
the number of murders. Murders had climbed
by seven percent in 2005, compared to 2004,
and increased another two percent in 2006.
was a seven percent drop in the total number
of violent crimes reported in 2007 -- murder,
rape, robbery and aggravated assault --
after two years in which the level of violent
crime was substantially unchanged.
Non-violent crimes – burglary, larceny-theft,
and motor vehicle theft – dropped
four percent. Crime was down in all areas
of the state, whether urban, suburban, or
total crime rate for the state was 25.3
victims for every 1,000 residents, compared
to a rate of 26.4 victims per 1,000 residents
in 2006, and a total crime index of 26.9
victims for every 1,000 residents in 2005.
The violent crime rate was 3.3 victims per
1,000 residents, a drop from 3.5 victims
per 1,000 residents in 2006.
drop in the overall crime index and the
decrease in the incidents of violent and
non-violent crime are encouraging, but we
cannot be satisfied until all residents
of New Jersey feel safe in their neighborhoods,’’
Attorney General Milgram said. “Innovative
law enforcement strategies, tougher penalties
for illegal gun possession, and new prevention
and prisoner re-entry programs – all
parts of Governor Corzine’s strategy
for safe streets and neighborhoods -- will
make an even greater difference in combating
violent crime and the street gangs that
traffic in guns and drugs.’’
violent crime decreased from 30,543 reported
incidents to 28,526. Murders decreased from
427 to 381, which was lower than the 392
reported murders in 2004. Reported rapes
decreased 14 percent from 1,200 to 1,029.
Robberies decreased six percent from 13,354
to 12,562, and aggravated assaults decreased
six percent from 15,562 to 14,554.
Guns were used in 68 percent, or 259 of
the 381 reported murders, with drug-related
and/or gang-related circumstances accounting
for 14 percent of the total murders, an
increase of three percent from the previous
year. Twenty-seven percent of the offenders
were either friends or acquaintances, and
nine percent were family members. Twenty-three
percent of all murder victims were between
the ages of 20 and 24, while 14 percent,
or 52 victims, were between the ages of
15 and 19. Sixty-five percent of murder
victims were African-American, while 34
percent were white.
were 71,901 domestic violence offenses reported
by the police in 2007, a three percent decrease
compared to the number reported in 2006.
The number of murders attributed to domestic
violence circumstances decreased 10 percent
in 2007 when compared to 2006, with 38 murders
compared to 42 the previous year.
number of aggravated assaults involving
a firearm decreased 14 percent from 2,605
in 2006 compared to 2,232 in 2007. There
were 5,794 arrests reported for weapons
offenses, a decrease of 13 percent compared
to 2006. Of the total arrested, 30 percent
crimes were down 2 percent in 2007, compared
to 2006. There were 809 bias incidents reported
to police last year compared to 825 in 2006.
The number of reported bias-related crimes
reported in 2005 was 792. Criminal mischief
and property damage accounted for 36 percent
of the bias incidents reported in 2007,
while harassment accounted for 44 percent.
Racial bias accounted for 48 percent of
all bias incident crimes in 2007, the same
percentage as the year earlier.
thefts dropped 11 percent from 24,746 to
21,944, the second year in a row the decrease
was 11 percent and continuing a drop in
reported car thefts from a peak of 34,009
reported in 2001. Two-thirds of stolen cars
were recovered last year.
decreased by five percent in 2007, compared
to 2006, while larceny and theft decreased
number of reported assaults against police
officers decreased three percent, from 3,
092 to 3,006.
The annual Uniform Crime Report is prepared
by the State Police Uniform Crime Reporting
Unit based on information provided by municipal,
county and state law enforcement agencies.
The latest report records offenses from
January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007.
crime has been a priority of the Corzine
administration from expanding Operation
Ceasefire and Shooting Response Teams in
urban areas to entering into an historic
partnership with the federal Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to
track the movement of illegal guns into
New Jersey. The State Police have also been
targeting resources against street gangs
that traffic in guns and drugs.
Governor’s Strategy for Safe Streets
and Neighborhoods was unveiled last October
after a year-long study in the Attorney
General’s Office to develop new approaches
to combating violent criminals. The strategy
is based on intelligence-led policing, which
identifies the individuals most responsible
for gang and gun-related violence, and calls
for information sharing among all law enforcement
agencies in the state.
The anti-crime strategy also includes prevention
programs developed for at-risk youth and
prisoner re-entry programs to cut recidivism