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2002 News Releases NJSP Badge

Office of the Attorney General
David Samson, Attorney General

Official News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2002
Chuck Davis
(609) 292-4791

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Number of Crimes Reported Second Lowest Since 1970

     TRENTON - Attorney General David Samson today released the annual report on crime statistics for the year 2001. The 2001 New Jersey Uniform Crime Report (UCR), measuring crime during the period January through December, 2001, showed that the overall crime rate for the state increased by three percent.

     The annual crime report, prepared by the State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Unit, showed that violent crime increased by two percent and non-violent crime rose by three percent, January through December. The crime rate is based on the Federal Uniform Crime Reporting system designation of seven index categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft.

     The State Police reporting unit recorded a total of 273,201 index offenses in 2001, while recording 265,840 crimes in the year 2000. It also revealed a per capita crime rate of 32.5 victims per 1000 residents, an increase of two percent over 2000 crime statistics. The number of index crimes reported for 2001 represents the second lowest number of crimes reported since 1970.

     "While factors that influence fluctuations in crime are complex, these numbers reflect fluctuations across the nation. Any increase in crime is a cause for concern," said the Attorney General. "Law enforcement has done an excellent job in the past several years in working to keep our neighborhoods and communities safe, and we will continue the fight to keep the streets safe from criminals."

     In addition to the annual Crime in New Jersey Report, the State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Unit also prepares the Car Jacking Offense Report, Domestic Violence Report and Bias Incident Report. Each report tracks demographic, victim and offender data in an effort to identify problem areas and to better aid law enforcement across the state.

      In 2001, the violent crime – murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault – increased from 32,276 reported offenses in the year 2000 to 32,957 reported offenses in 2001. Non-violent crime – burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft – offenses reported an increase from 233,564 to 240,244.

     Murders increased by 18 percent, from 288 reported in 2000 to 341 recorded by the Uniform Crime Reporting Unit in 2001.

     The individual crime categories report the following statistics:

  • rape decreased six percent (from 1,352 to 1,277);
  • robbery increased four percent (13,550 to 14,112);
  • aggravated assault increased one percent (from 17,086 to 17,227);
  • burglary increased six percent (from 43,934 to 46,768);
  • larceny-theft increased less than one-half of one percent (from 155,480 to 155,825;
  • motor vehicle theft increased 10 percent (from 34,150 to 37,6510).

     "People have a right to expect that their families will live in a crime-free neighborhood. We in law enforcement will continue our aggressive attack on the criminal element, whether it involves long standing battles to contain the flow of drugs into our cities and communities, gang violence, or the less violent, but equally pernicious area of insurance fraud and computer crime. Our goal in law enforcement is to work harder and smarter to meet community' expectations," Samson said.

     Also, the Crime in New Jersey Report contains seasonal crime rate data for the state's resort communities located in Atlantic, Cape May, Monmouth, Ocean and Sussex counties. An annual mean population estimate has been calculated using the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census. However, not counted in the population are the many day visitors and persons who occupy campgrounds, hotels, motels or bed and breakfast establishments.

     The report noted that there was a six percent increase in Domestic Violence incidents over the year 2000. There were 82,373 offenses reported to police in 2001, compared to 77,680 reported in 2000.

     With respect to Bias crimes, a total of 815 bias incidents reported in 2001, a 15 percent increase over the 710 incidents reported in 2000. The number of carjackings increased by 14 percent over the previous year. There were 491 car jacking offenses reported to police in 2001.

     The Uniform Crime Report also notes that three New Jersey police officers died during the performance of their duties.

     Attorney General Samson noted that the Crime in New Jersey Report is dedicated to the 37 police officers of the New York/New Jersey Port Authority who lost their lives in the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center.

     "They paid the ultimate sacrifice in helping others. Their work should never be forgotten," Samson said.

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