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West Orange Sees Rise in Reported Crimes, Report States

The 2011 Uniform Crime Report showed an increase of approximately 204 criminal incidents in West Orange

Reported West Orange crime increased from 670 in 2010 to 874 in 2011. The New Jersey State Police released its 2011 Uniform Crime Report on Friday with statewide criminal reports rising 3-percent from 2010 to 2011.

According to the report, West Orange saw an increase of 204 incidents last year from the previous year.

With 46,207 residents and approximately 108 officers in its police force, West Orange had 77 violent crimes which were split between 31 aggravated assaults, and 43 robberies, two rape and one murder. The majority of its reported incidents were of a non-violent nature (797) as the village had 518 reported thefts last year. Also reported were 201 burglaries, and 78 stolen vehicles.

Overall, there were 217,073 reported crimes in New Jersey in 2011.

Murder rose 2-percent from 2010 to 2011, from 372 reported incidents to 380. Rape reports rose from 985 to 991, and robberies had the biggest jump from 11,859 to 12,216, the report showed.

Aggravated assault dropped 3-percent from 13,958 reports to 13,586.

“The latest crime data shows a slight increase in the overall crime rate in New Jersey,” New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said in a statement. “Although the factors that influence crime trends are complex and interwoven, we remain committed to working harder and smarter to combat crime and protect New Jersey citizens during what remains a tough economic time for much of our state and our nation.”

According to the report, there was a crime committed once every 2 minutes and 25 seconds in 2011, and males accounted for 69-percent of the arrests made.

A full copy of the 2011 Crime Index Report can be found here.

badbul December 17, 2012 at 08:26 PM
So who do we believe, the State Police and the Uniform Crime Report that crime has increased in West Orange, or someone that keeps saying "crime in West Orange hasn't risen, it's mainly the Patch that is reporting the crime"?
Gary Englert December 17, 2012 at 10:19 PM
What you may believe is the statistical data compiled in the UCR which does indicate an over all decrease in violent crimes (87 in 2010 to 76 in 2011) and an increase in burglaries (131 to 199) and larcenies (403 to 523). For what it is worth, the total reportable crimes in 1997 were 1,686 and 875 in 2011; ergo, the crime rate is nearly half of what it was 15 years ago. Crime remains generally in decline with more rapid reporting of those that do happen (due to Internet outlets) responsible for public perception that it is rising precipitously.
wohopeful December 18, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Now that the facts point to a clear rise in crime in West Orange, hopefully our Mayor and Council will finally listen to the cries of the residents who knew all along that crime was rising and take the necessary actions to stem the rising crime rate.
Ken December 18, 2012 at 01:09 PM
You mean increase our taxes and hire more police, right?
Alan Sanders December 18, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Was 1997 the peak year for reportable crime in W.O., and why use it as the basis for comparison to current times? Rapid reporting: Is the rapidity of reporting shaping perception or is it that the internet attracts more eyeballs? If you take a 1 year period, why should rapidity be a factor? If crime drops, rapid reporting creates bigger gaps w/no crimes reported.
Alan Sanders December 18, 2012 at 02:47 PM
On 2nd thoughts, I think that the effect of the internet is to create more buzz. Reports in print doesn't create the dialogue that a forum like the Patch does, and that dialogue spreads the word.
Lori December 18, 2012 at 03:08 PM
It's definitely informative to compare total reportable crimes in 1997 to those in 2011. However, I feel we need to focus on what our current state is. Let's compare year to year (2010 to 2011) and focus on declining reportable crimes on a yearly basis...not focusing on the difference between what's going on now compared to 15 years ago!!
Gary Englert December 18, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Lori W. & Alan Sanders: What's past is prologue but, it is also helpful to put the present in context. The Township's UCR that I've reviewed begins with 1997, which is when the current Chief of Police took command. Crime reporting IS more rapid and widespread due to the Internet and the more sensational the crime, the bigger the buzz which does tend to skew perception. There was a clear uptick in property crimes in 2011 (burglary & larceny) which can likely be attributed to the economy; they are also the type of crimes that no amount of additional police presence is likely to curtail.
Alan Sanders December 18, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Lori W.: Reportable crimes from 2010 to 2011 increased (not decreased) from 670 to 875, an increase of 31%. More interesting and maybe more important is that 2011 marked a reversal of a pretty consistent downward trend from 2001.
Tom G. December 18, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Comparing crime stats from 15 years ago is helpful because it helps combat all the "West Orange is going downhill" comments. While there may have been a spike in crime this year, it is not indicative of a trend. In fact, the trend is an overall dramatic decline in crime over the last decade.
john anthony prignano December 19, 2012 at 12:09 AM
I think it's important to note that in 1997 there were 39,465 residents of West Orange . In 2010 , there were 46,207. So as the number of reported crimes was declining, the population of the Township was rising { 18% }. However, a 30% increase in crime from 2010 to 2011 is a lot . An apparently very corpulent armed bank robber who robbed a bank on a heavily used road was able to escape on foot. An armed robber of a gas station on a heavily used road was also able to escape on foot. Don't these 2 incidents beg the question ; Does West Orange have enough officers on the street ? Also, both the aforementioned robberies took place on County roads. Don't County Police patrol those roads ? The County Police certainly have a strong presence when it comes to catching people who are speeding through South Mountain Reservation. Armando, where are you?
john anthony prignano December 19, 2012 at 01:19 AM
wohopeful The article says there were 874 reported crimes in 2011. Englert says there were 875. The article states there were 77 violent crimes in 2011. Englert says there were 76. Englert states there were 199 burglaries in 2011. The article says there were 201. Englert says there were 523 larcenies in 2011. The article states there were 518 thefts in 2011. Also in the crime statistics from 1997 there are 280 acts of domestic violence ,4 acts of arson and 3 bias crimes included in the total number of crimes .Those crimes are not included in the 2011 figures reported above . Doesn't West Orange have a PAID Public Information Officer?
john anthony prignano December 20, 2012 at 02:42 AM
wohopeful November 20, 2012 : A police officer is deployed in the main reading room of the library. December 1 2011:There are 47 crossing posts, but only 41 crossing guards. Police officers man those 6 crossing posts. Once an officer is posted there, they can't leave, causing a DELAY IN RESPONSE TIME. August 23, 2012: Police Chief James Abbott confirmed at Tuesday's Council meeting the Police Department has used forced overtime to fill shifts. October 11, 2012: A specialized street crimes unit will be assigned to areas that have seen an increase in crime { the Orange border }. Money? Public Information Officer stays,cops go? 350k for a snack bar, cops go? 68k to the Municipal Alliance, astronomical { and unnecessary } legal expenses- SEVERAL lawyers are advising the Council,but the Clerk's position may be in conflict with the Council's, so she gets her own lawyer? End the inter - local agreement .Give the public it's right to Initiative and Referendum. REDUCE THE SCHOOL BUDGET ! What is that "separate money"? - Town B.A.,150k, Board B.A., 200k,with less service. As for the police, I am told they are still seen around the area working a second job. The CDC says 40% of cops have sleep disorders.How many more suffer from sleep deprivation ? Stop burning the candle at both ends,or calling out on the taxpayers dime. Stress, danger, forced overtime,shift work in every kind of weather, and of course, a second job ?? How can someone doing that possibly be at the top of their game?
Car14 December 21, 2012 at 03:47 AM
And they laid off how many cops??? how stupid! hire them back. Costs more in overtime with the current crew. Everyone knows the town has an increase in crime..everyone but the mayor and politicians, councilmen....... that is...

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