ROXBURY, NJ – Police this week said they were investigating “a possible attempted theft” in Succasunna and urged residents to lock their cars and homes. But that doesn't mean the town is unsafe, according to a new report.
Roxbury is one of the top 50 municipalities in New Jersey when it comes to being safe from crime, according to SafeWise, a company that researched statewide statistics.
In its sixth annual “Safest Cities in New Jersey report, SafeWise rated Roxbury 38th statewide, one spot better than Denville but slightly less safe than Randolph, which landed at 31 on the list.
The company found River Vale – a Bergen County town with about $10,000 people and a median income of about $132,000 - to be the safest of the 244 municipalities it ranked. It said it calculated crime rates for municipalities that met a “population threshold” and included only those that submitted a crime report to the FBI in 2018.
According to SafeWise, Roxbury – with a population of 23,000 and a median income of $104,453, reported a 2019 violent crime rate of .2 per 1000 people and a 2019 property crime rate of 10.1.
It said 32 municipalities improved in rank year over year, “with Hopatcong making the biggest jump – 100 spots from 116 to 16.” It said every town on the “safest” list “beat both the state (2.1) and national (3.7) crime rates and every city kept violent crime to less than one incident per 1,000.”
Mount Olive ranked fourth on the list.
Not Too Worried
The company said people statewide seem to be feeling safer than in the past. “The number of people feeling high concern for their safety on a daily basis dropped by 10 percentage points in New Jersey, according to our 2020 State of Safety survey,” said Safe Wise.
In their warning on Facebook, Roxbury police said the incident they were investigating took place on Toby Drive in Succasunna. Burglaries of vehicles and buildings are considered property crimes. SafeWise said 15 percent of New Jersey residents said they’d been the victims of property crime during the past year, substantially fewer than the national rate of 26 percent.
“Theft of digital property, like photos and files, is the biggest property crime concern in the Garden State,” SafeWise said. “Last year, digital security was the overall safety concern in the state, with 71 percent of respondents marking it of high or very high concern.”
The company, which tests and rates security systems, found that 29 percent of New Jersey respondents said they use a security system to protect their property. “That’s five points above the national average of 24percent,” it said, adding that “33 percent don’t use any measure of protection for their property, compared to 29 percent nationwide.”
While security cameras and systems are great, Roxbury police continue to find some residents are lackadaisical about making even simple efforts to ward off property theft. "Please close all garage doors and lock all vehicles," they urged.