N.J. – Attorney General Anne Milgram
today released the 2008 Uniform Crime Report
which shows that incidents of violent crime
dropped 1 percent in 2008, the seventh consecutive
year of a drop in the violent crime index.
There was also another 1 percent drop in the
number of murders in 2008, compared to 2007,
the second consecutive year the number of
murders had dropped and the lowest number
of recorded murders since 2002.
drop in the number of murders continued through
the first half of this year, according to
statistics compiled by the state’s 21
county prosecutors. There were 158 reported
homicides in the state in the first six months
of 2009, compared to 209 during the same period
of 2008, which represented a 24 percent drop.
last time the number of murders had fallen
in two consecutive years was 1999, when the
number of murders recorded was 287. Over the
following years, the number of murders rose
to 427 in 2006. But since 2006, the percentage
decline in murders is 12 percent. The number
of murders in 2008 was 376, the lowest reported
number since 2002 when there were 341 murders
reported to police. Incidents of violent crime
have dropped 8.5 percent since 2005.
two years ago, my administration launched
a comprehensive plan aimed at combating violent
crime in New Jersey, and the data released
in this report shows that we are winning important
battles in the fight against gang violence
and violent crime," Governor Corzine
this is progress, there is still work to be
done. We will continue to do whatever it takes
to protect the public and help maintain safe
neighborhoods where New Jerseyans can raise
believe the continued drop in violent crime
and the reduction in the number of murders
in our state demonstrate that our aggressive
anti-crime campaign against street gangs,
violent criminals and gun and drug trafficking
is making a difference,” Attorney General
our work is not done. Our goal is to continue
the decline in the incidents of violent crime
reduce the number of murders for a third consecutive
crimes increased 3 percent last year, compared
to 2007, but despite the increase, the total
incidents of crime recorded in 2008 was the
second lowest total of reported index crimes
in the last 15 years.
the 12 percent drop in the murder rate in
the last two years, murders had climbed by
seven percent in 2005, compared to 2004, and
increased another two percent in 2006.
1 percent drop in the overall number of violent
crimes reported in 2008 followed a 7 percent
drop in 2007 compared to 2006.
incidents of violent crime dropped in 11 of
the state’s 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen,
Cape May, Cumberland, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer,
Morris, Passaic, Salem, and Warren.
overall crime rate was down in six counties
(Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Morris
and Somerset), unchanged in two counties (Mercer
and Salem), and increased in 13.
total crime rate for the state was 26.2 victims
for every 1,000 residents, compared to 25.3
in 2007. The crime rate was 26.4 victims per
1,000 residents in 2006 and 26.9 victims for
every 1,000 residents in 2005. The violent
crime rate was 3.3 victims per 1,000 residents
in 2008, the same as 2007, which, in turn,
was a drop from 3.5 victims per 1,000 residents
violent crime decreased from 28,526 reported
incidents to 28,281. While murders decreased
to 376, reported rapes increased 6 percent
from 1,029 to 1,090. Robberies increased 1
percent from 12,562 to 12,694, and aggravated
assault decreased 3 percent from 14,554 reported
incidents to 14,121. The number of aggravated
assaults was responsible for half of all reported
were used in 63 percent of the reported murders.
In 43 percent of the murders, the offender
and victim knew each other: 32 percent were
friends or acquaintances and 11 percent were
family members. Twenty-one percent of all
murder victims were between the ages of 25
and 29, while 17 percent were between the
ages of 20 and 24, and 14 percent were between
the ages of 15 and 19. Sixty-three percent
of murder victims were African-American, while
34 percent were white.
were 70,613 domestic violence offenses reported
by the police in 2008, a 2 percent decrease
compared to the number reported in 2007. The
number of murders attributed to domestic violence
circumstances was 57 in 2008, compared to
38 the previous year.
crimes reported to police increased 8 percent
in 2008, compared to 2007. There were 876
bias incident offenses reported, compared
to 809. There had been 825 reported bias incidents
in 2006 and 792 reported bias incidents in
2005. Criminal mischief and property damage
accounted for 42 percent of the bias incidents
reported in 2008, while harassment accounted
for 39 percent. Racial bias accounted for
47 percent of all bias incident crimes in
2008, the same percentage as the year earlier.
thefts dropped 8 percent in 2008 after dropping
11 percent in 2007, compared to 2006.
thefts decreased to 21,944 offenses; 67 percent
of vehicles were recovered. Auto thefts have
dropped each year since 2001, when it reached
a peak of 34,009 stolen vehicles.
burglary in 2008 increased 8 percent, with
residential burglaries accounting for 72 percent
of the total. Similarly, larceny and theft
increased 4 percent after dropping the previous
number of reported assaults against police
officers decreased 14 percent, from 3,006
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, 2008 through December 31, 2008.
copy of the 2007 annual report is available
on line at: www.njsp.org/info/ucr2008/index.html
Governor’s Strategy for Safe Streets
and Neighborhoods was unveiled in October
2007 after a year-long study in the Attorney
General’s Office to develop new approaches
to reducing violent crime. The law enforcement
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.
first two-phases of statewide operations against
street gangs have led to the arrest of more
than 4,220 individuals, including 1,136 suspected
street gang members, and more than 1,647 offenders
with violent criminal backgrounds. More than
570 guns have been seized, and drugs with
a street value of more than $9 million have
Attorney General and State Police have entered
into an unprecedented partnership with the
U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and Explosives (ATF) to track the movement
of illegal guns into New Jersey and prosecute
anti-crime strategy also includes prevention
programs for at-risk youth and prisoner re-entry
programs to cut recidivism rates.