2013 UCR released: Violent crime, murders rise in Essex County

By Jessica Mazzola | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on April 17, 2015

ESSEX COUNTY — Violent crimes in Essex County jumped up 13 percent in 2013, according to the New Jersey State Police Uniform Crime Report released Friday. The number of murders in the county, which clocked more homicides that year than any other county in New Jersey, also went up from 2012 to 2013, the report said.

According to the UCR, Essex County reported 5,914 violent crimes in 2013 - up from 5,249 the year before. The county also reported the highest violent crime rate per 1,000 residents of any county in the state, at 7.5. That was up from 6.7 in 2012.

The next highest violent crime rate per 1,000 residents was in Camden County, at 5.8. Statewide, the average is 2.9, the report said.

Newark accounted for the majority of the county's violent crimes in 2013, logging 3,727 of them. The city also accounted for 112 of the county's 147 murders in 2013.

The report pointed out other countywide trends in crime:

  • The total number of arrests in Essex County decreased 5 percent from 2012 to 2013, from 37,802 to 35,878. The total number of crimes reported in Essex also decreased 5 percent over the same time period.

  • From 2012 to 2013, violent crime increased 13 percent in Essex County, while nonviolent crime decreased 9 percent.

  • In 2013, the number of murders and robberies in the county increased, but the number of rapes, burglaries, and aggravated assaults decreased.

  • The total value of property stolen in Essex County in 2013 was $54.7 million. About 67 percent of that was recovered.

Statewide, crime overall decreased in 2013 to its lowest rate in at least a decade, but the number of murders increased for the fifth straight year. More than half of the murders in the state took place in the state's six major cities -- Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Paterson, Trenton, and Camden.

Local authorities have said that crime rates in Essex County, and statewide, decreased in 2014. An NJ Advance Media survey of prosecutor's offices earlier this year found that the number of murders statewide fell to 361 last year, the lowest total since 2009.

Newark officials also said recently that crime has decreased in the city during the first quarter of 2015.

Police Director Eugene Venable cited new police policies as some of the reasons for the reduction in crime.

"This year, we have a real time intelligence center that's effective, we have more cops on street patrol, we are taking more guns off the street. These are the three things that have led to the crime reduction," he told NJ Advance Media earlier this month.

Read the full 2013 Uniform Crime Report here.

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