Towns across TheAlternativePress.com coverage area generally followed the statewide trend as crimes reported in 2010 dropped slightly over the previous year.
The New Jersey State Police released Friday the annual Uniform Crime Report that details the crimes reported in the state. The report outlines the state totals and breaks down the crime numbers by county and municipality.
Statewide, the number of crimes dropped in 2010 by 1 percent, from 210,817 in 2009 to 207,841.
Statewide murders were up, from 372 to 320; rapes decreased from 1,041 to 985; robberies were up 2 percent, aggravated assaults were up 1 percent; burglaries up 5 percent; larcenies were up 1 percent; and vehicle thefts were up just a total of 54, from 15,501 in 2009 to 15,555.
In towns in TheAlternativePress.com area, in Morris County, Chatham Township and Madison recorded fewer crimes, while Chatham recorded a slight increase.
In Essex County, Livingston saw a small increase in reported crimes, while Millburn, South Orange and West Orange recorded decreases.
In Passaic County, Paterson saw an increase in crime.
In Union County, Berkeley Heights and New Providence recorded increases in crime, while Scotch Plains, Summit and Westfield recorded declines.
The state police attributed the changes to better enforcement and higher police presence like foot patrols in high crime areas, improved lighting in key areas, more citizen involvement in crime-fighting activities like Neighborhood Watch activities, and modern automotive locking systems that make stealing a vehicle more difficult.
The state police said, though, that vehicles are being stolen for parts because of their high value.
Town by town:
Livingston recorded five more crime incidents in 2010 than in 2009: 400 to 395. There were no murders or rapes, but seven robberies. Violent crimes fell by four, from 16 to 12, while non-violent crime rose by nine to 388 reported incidents. Burglaries were up from 67 to 106, while the number of larcenies dropped by one to 300.
Millburn recorded seven fewer crime incidents in 2010, down from 533. The number of robberies doubled to 12, while the number of aggravated assaults dropped from 16 to eight. There were 55 burglaries reported, down 11 from 2009, and four more larcenies, or 439.
South Orange recorded 472 crime incidents down from 503. The number of violent crimes was up from 43 to 58, while non-violent crime reports dropped from 460 in 2009 to 414. Robberies increased from 26 to 41, burlgaries jumped from 73 to 135, but larcenies fell from 332 to 248.
West Orange recorded a drop in crime incidents from 784 in 2009 to 670, but violent crime incidents rose from 71 to 87. Non-violent crime dropped from 713 incidents to 583. There were 25 fewer burglaies reported, a drop from 156 to 131, and a drop of 101 larcenies, from 504 to 403. Three arsons were reported in 2010, a drop of one.
Chatham recorded 72 crimes in 2010, up eight from 2009. No violent crime incidents were recorded, but non-violent incidents increased from 61 to 72. Burglaries increased from 12 to 14 and larcenies increased from 43 to 57.
In Chatham Township, eight fewer crimes were recorded in 2010, down from 52. Non-violent crime dropped from 51 incidents to 46. Burglaries were up to 15 from 7 in 2009, but larcenies dropped from 44 to 31.
Madison saw drop in total reported crimes from 148 to 123. Violent crimes dropped from 14 to 5, and non-violent crime dropped from 134 incidents to 118. Burglaries were up to 35 from 19, but larcenies dropped from 108 to 83. The borough recorded no auto thefts or arsons.
In Passaic County, Paterson recorded 6,092 crimes, a 15.3 perent increase over 2009. Included in that increase were 18 murders, up from 15; 44 rapes, up from 28; 769 robberies, up from 631; and 737 aggravated assaults, up from 645. The city recorded 1,493 burglaries, up from 1,241; 2,330 larcenies, up from 1,969; 701 auto thefts, up from 629; and 15 arsons, unchanged from 2009.
Berkeley Heights recorded nine more crime incidents in 2010, up from 94. There was one violent crime recorded and 102 non-violent crimes, up from 91 in 2009. Burglaries dropped by three, from 22 to 19, whole larcnies incrased from 65 to 80.
New Providence recorded 136 criems in 2010, up from 84. There were three violent crimes, up from two, and 133 non-violent crimes, up from 82. Burglaries increased to 30 from four, and larcenies increased to 103 from 76. No vehicles were stolen in the borough in 2010, down from two.
Scotch Plains saw a drop in recorded crimes from 269 in 2009 to 220. The number of violent crimes dropped from 12 to seven and the number of non-violent crimes dropped from 257 to 213. Burglaries increase from 58 to 66, while larcenies dropped from 192 to 140.
Summit had 60 fewer crime incidents reported in 2010 than in 2009, a drop from 290 to 230. Non-violent crime dropped from 280 to 220, the 10 violent crimes reported in 2010 were the same as in 2009. Burglaries were up five from 34 to 39, while larcenies dropped from 241 to 177.
Westfield saw a drop in reported crimes from 288 to 254. Violent crime increased from 11 to 17, while non-violent crime decreased from 277 to 237 incidents. Motor vehicle thefts increased from seven to nine, while burglaries decreased from 58 to 42 and larcenies dropped from 212 to 185. The town also recorded two fewer arsons, when none were reported in 2010.