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2014 UCR Shows Increase In Some Crimes, Yet Low Overall

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Published: May 8, 2015 @ 6:00 AM EDT
2014 UCR Shows Increase In Some Crimes, Yet Low Overall thumbnail

Figures for New Jersey’s 2014 Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) have been released. UCRs are annual publications containing criminological data compiled by the State as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and intended to assist in identifying law enforcement problems. These studies are based on statistics submitted by law enforcement agencies across the United States, including Roselle Park. There are those who have argued that local police departments may shape their record-keeping practices to produce results that will lend support to departmental positions on issues relating to crime but generally. the consensus is that the potential for manipulation in record-keeping is not so great as to detract from the essential accuracy of the overall trends depicted in UCRs. Crimes in the report are sectioned into violent and non violent classifications then subdivided into about a dozen categories.

The figures for Roselle Park show an increase in 2014 for Total Crimes as well as the Crime Index (CI) from the previous year. The CI is a tally of all crimes except Simple Assault, Arson, Domestic Violence, and Bias Crimes.

Specifically, the crimes with the highest increase in the borough included Strong Armed Robbery, Attempted Forcible Entry, Theft by Larceny, and Theft of Autos. Only one of those – Strong Armed Robbery – was classified as violent crime. Larceny, which had the highest incidents overall, is defined at the unlawful taking of another’s property.

Roselle Park Police Chief Paul W. Morrison commented on the findings, “We attribute the increase in robberies and thefts, in part, to the change in our economic climate and also to the increasing number of people with drug addiction. A large number of individuals who are arrested for robbery and theft offenses indicated to police at the time of their arrest that they commit these crimes so they may support their drug addiction.”

There were decreases in Assault by Other Dangerous Weapon, Simple Assault, Unlawful Entry, and Theft of Vehicles other than Cars/Trucks/Buses. The crimes with the highest reported incidents in 2014 were Larceny and Simple Assault.

In addressing those decreases, Police Chief Morrison stated, “The Police Department has become very proactive in the past several years, rather than reacting to a situation after it has been reported. Without exposing many of the police practices of the Roselle Park Police Department, I can say that in addition to the proactive approach, uniformed police officers are more visible and have a greater presence throughout the town which helps in deterring criminal acts. Also, many details of plain-clothed officers are assigned to different areas of town and have specific assignments as to what types of illegal activity to be aware of and to proactively approach those situations.”

Even with an almost 18% increase in the CI from the previous year, 2014 still reported the third (3rd) lowest Crime Index and Per Capita rates in a quarter century and was rates lower than those in 2011 and 2012. Records show that 2013 had the lowest Total Crime, Crime Index, and Per Capita Crime rates in 25 years.

 
2013
2014
% Change
Rape
1
1
0.0%
Attempted Rape
0
0
0.0%
Rape Total:
1
1
0.0%
Robbery by Firearm
1
1
0.0%
Robbery by Knife or Cutting Instrument
0
0
0.0%
Strong Arm Robbery (Hands, Fists, etc.)
0
4
Robbery Total:
1
5
400.0%
Assault by Knife or Cutting Instrument
1
1
0.0%
Assault by Other Dangerous Weapon
2
0
Aggravated Assault (Hands, Fists, Feet, etc.)
3
4
33.3%
Assault Total:
6
5
-16.7%
Simple Assault (Hands, Fists, Feet, etc.)
66
63
-4.5%
Simple Assault Total:
66
63
-4.5%
Forcible Entry
13
11
-15.4%
Unlawful Entry
12
7
-41.7%
Attempted Forcible Entry
3
7
133.3%
Burglary Total:
28
25
-10.7%
Theft by Larceny
67
86
28.4%
Larceny Theft Total:
67
86
28.4%
Theft of Autos
6
9
50.0%
Theft of Trucks and Buses
1
1
0.0%
Theft of Other Vehicles
2
0
Motor Vehicle Theft Total:
9
10
11.1%
CRIME INDEX TOTAL:
112
132
17.9%

It should be noted that statistically, Domestic Violence in Roselle Park has had the second or third highest reported incidents for 21 of the past 25 years. The figures on Domestic Violence are not included for 2013 and 2014 because they have not yet been certified by the New Jersey Attorney General’s office nor the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Police Chief Morrison provided his remarks on this issue, stating, “Unfortunately, domestic abuse has become a large issue here in Roselle Park, Union County, and throughout the Country. There are specific procedures and guidelines that must be followed by responding officers to domestic violence calls. In domestic violence situations there are procedures put in place by the New Jersey State Attorney General that indicate that officers shall arrest an offender of a domestic assault, the officer has no discretion in many cases. There are many reasons why domestic disputes occur and most situations seem to always differ and are specific to the individuals involved.”

Additionally, the police chief addresses the other aspect of domestic violence – the victims – and gave information on resources available to them, “There are counselors who are made available to victims of domestic violence at the time of the offense with no cost to the victim. These counselors are contacted by the investigating officer and are made immediately available to the victim.”

The 24-Hour hotline for reporting domestic violence (908) 355-HELP [4357]

For review and analysis purposes, category breakdowns are included  for the past 25 years – from 1990 till 2014.

The most comparably accurate number is the Crime Rate Per 1,000 (or Per Capita) which equalizes crime rates between small, mid-size, and large municipalities. In Roselle Park, the Per Capita Crime Rate has increased 2.8% since 2010 but decreased 43.5% since 2000 and 68.7% since 1990.

 

(2014 UCR Graph)

 
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
% Change
(2010-2014)
% Change
(2000-2014)
% Change
(1990-2014)
Homicide
0
0
0
0
0
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
Rape
0
0
0
1
1
100.0%
-50.0%
0.0%
Robbery
8
6
4
1
5
-37.5%
-16.7%
-16.7%
Assault
9
6
4
6
5
-44.4%
-54.5%
-44.4%
Assault (Simple)
66
63
Burglary
28
45
52
28
25
-10.7%
-44.4%
-63.8%
Larceny - Theft
75
91
67
67
86
14.7%
-36.3%
-60.7%
Motor Vehicle Theft
6
9
8
9
10
66.7%
-67.7%
-89.5%
Arson
0
0
0
1
Domestic Violence
87
99
92
Bias Crime
0
0
0
0
TOTAL CRIME
213
256
227
179
194
-8.5%
-44.1%
-58.2%
CRIME INDEX TOTAL
126
157
135
112
131
4.8%
-42.6%
-66.9%
       Violent Crime
17
12
8
8
10
-35.3%
-42.1%
-31.3%
       Non-Violent Crime
109
145
127
104
121
11.0%
-42.7%
-68.4%
CRIME RATE PER 1,000
9.5
11.8
10
8.4
9.8
2.8%
-43.5%
-68.7%
       Violent Crime
1.3
0.9
0.6
0.6
0.8
-37.4%
-41.9%
-32.2%
       Non-Violent Crime
8.2
10.9
9.4
7.8
9.0
9.2%
-43.7%
-70.1%
 
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
Homicide
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
Rape
2
1
0
0
2
0
0
1
1
1
Robbery
6
6
10
12
6
15
1
17
7
7
Assault
11
10
4
15
16
8
7
11
15
12
Assault (Simple)
Burglary
45
67
56
108
45
36
35
47
43
29
Larceny - Theft
135
150
139
143
144
140
169
185
154
76
Motor Vehicle Theft
31
33
40
23
30
29
19
17
14
11
Arson
1
1
0
0
0
2
0
0
1
1
Domestic Violence
118
116
92
101
65
77
77
83
111
85
Bias Crime
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
TOTAL CRIME
349
384
342
402
308
309
308
361
346
222
CRIME INDEX TOTAL
230
267
249
301
243
229
231
278
234
136
       Violent Crime
19
17
14
27
24
24
8
29
23
20
       Non-Violent Crime
211
250
235
274
219
205
223
249
211
116
CRIME RATE PER 1,000
17.3
20.1
18.7
22.5
18.3
17.2
17.5
21.2
18.2
10.6
       Violent Crime
1.4
1.3
1.1
2
1.8
1.8
0.6
2.2
1.8
1.6
       Non-Violent Crime
15.9
18.8
17.6
20.5
16.5
15.4
16.9
19
16.4
9.1
 
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
Homicide
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
Rape
1
4
2
2
1
0
2
2
0
0
Robbery
6
21
1
9
8
9
10
5
6
12
Assault
9
12
4
8
5
12
20
4
6
3
Assault (Simple)
Burglary
69
94
90
79
86
108
106
64
82
46
Larceny - Theft
219
270
165
179
139
208
203
233
201
167
Motor Vehicle Theft
95
91
64
65
54
50
34
32
36
45
Arson
3
1
2
0
0
0
0
0
2
1
Domestic Violence
54
74
89
119
162
198
142
109
139
109
Bias Crime
11
13
3
1
11
3
1
2
0
0
TOTAL CRIME
467
580
420
462
466
588
519
451
472
383
CRIME INDEX TOTAL
399
492
326
342
293
387
376
340
331
273
       Violent Crime
16
37
7
19
14
21
33
11
12
15
       Non-Violent Crime
383
455
319
323
279
366
343
329
319
258
CRIME RATE PER 1,000
31.2
38.4
25.5
26.7
22.9
30
29.1
26.7
26
21.4
       Violent Crime
1.2
2.9
0.5
1.5
1.1
1.6
2.6
0.9
0.9
1.2
       Non-Violent Crime
30.0
35.5
25
25.2
21.8
28.4
26.5
25.8
25.1
20.2