The homicide rate in NJ rose in 2015, according to a survey of county prosecutor’s offices throughout New Jersey. The survey, conducted by NJ Advance Media, indicates that 375 people died as a result of violence last year, a number that is higher than the total of 361 violence-related deaths in New Jersey in 2014.
The news is particularly disappointing given the strong efforts being made in many New Jersey communities to combat violent criminal offenses.
In Newark, a hotbed of violent crime in recent years, things are especially bad: the city saw 105 total homicides in 2015, with 25 possible murders being committed over the final two months of the year. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka recently responded to the city’s rising homicide rate by asking the Newark City Council to approve a new appointee for the position of chief of detectives with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
The increase in deadly shootings and other violent crimes has not been limited to Newark. Last year, several other cities in Essex County, NJ saw a rise in homicides: there were 11 killings in East Orange and five murders in Orange. In fact, Essex County accounted for almost 40 percent of all homicides committed in New Jersey in 2015.
Outside of Essex County, some NJ municipalities actually saw decreases in the number of violent crimes and homicides.
- In Paterson, NJ, the total number of homicides decreased from 26 in 2014 to just eight in 2015.
- The murder rate in Camden has been steadily declining since 2013 thanks to a regional police force patrolling local streets.
- In Trenton, the homicide rate was nearly cut in half from 2014 to 2015, an improvement that Trenton police have chalked up to the increased presence of state and federal agencies in the state’s capital city.
Stephen Varn, a Trenton police spokesman, stated that law enforcement’s commitment to solving non-fatal shootings helped to stop fatal shootings before they could happen.
To learn more about the homicide rate in New Jersey, check out the NJ.com article entitled, “Despite Progress in Cities, N.J. Homicides Jump 4 Percent in 2015.”
If you have been accused of murder or manslaughter in New Jersey, your future and your freedom are in jeopardy. That’s why it is imperative that you talk to a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC can help you fight a murder charge. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.