CAMDEN, NJ — The Camden County Police Department (CCPD) is reporting an increase of property crime since Gov. Phil Murphy issued a statewide “Stay At Home” order on March 21.
However, a county police spokesman said Tuesday that overall violent crime figures — including shootings and homicides — are down in the first quarter of the year.
Camden County Police Chief Joe Wysocki told TAPinto Camden that the police department continues to be focused on two initiatives: eliminate violent crime and engage residents through agency-wide community policing, "that creates a dialogue and relationship with our neighbors."
"[Our] violent crime numbers are down this year, including large reductions in shootings and homicides," Wysocki said in a statement. "This is a positive trend that started back in January and has remained consistent throughout this pandemic, beginning in early March. That said, we have seen some upticks in property crime that have taken place since the stay at home order was put in place.”
The CCPD reported two shooting homicides (six less than this time 2019), 11 non-fatal shooting incidents (eight less), 14 rapes (three less), 62 robberies (nine less), 168 aggravated assaults (two less), and 70 burglaries (21 less).
Compared to this time last year there were 72 more larceny-theft incidents (total of 293 and a 33 percent increase) and 59 more incidents of larceny-theft from automobiles (total of 144 and a 69 percent increase).
Both arson and motor vehicle thefts hovered at about the same from 2019 — five and 141 respectively. *Reportable crimes includes murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, arson, burglary, larceny, larceny from auto, and motor vehicle theft (Provided by Camden County Police Department)
Overall, there were 246 violent crimes reported (compared to 263 Q1 last year) and 509 property crimes (compared to 459 last year).
The CCPD has deployed officers with face masks to assist residents at supermarkets and grocery stores in the area, as well as to post flyers underneath windshields to remind residents to maintain social distancing.
“Based on [the increase in property crime] we have been paying more attention to ensuring our community remains secure...during this difficult time so residents can have the peace of mind that we continue to walk the beat and preserve the guardian presence we have built over the last seven years,” Wysocki said.