NPD Reports 37% Decline in the Murder Rate, on Track for Record Low for the Year

Newark’s murder rate on track to beat all-time low

The NPD may be on pace to cut the murder rate nearly in half by the end of 2008. With the market “going to crap commodities prices going through the roof, and the potential (well, okay, rumor) of mayhem in the Middle East, this news is a sight for sore eyes.

Newark’s murder rate has dropped so much this year that the city has a shot at breaking an all-time low.

There were 30 murders in the first half of 2008, compared to 48 during that time last year, according to police. If things go a little better in the second half of the year, the city could beat the modern-day low, set in 1997, of 58 murders.

“It’s been a very good year,” Police Director Garry McCarthy said.

Shootings are down too, by nearly 20 percent. But underlying that decrease is a spike in property crime, particularly burglaries, that has driven the city’s overall crime rate up for the year.

McCarthy says he expects the property crime trend to reverse in the last six months of 2008, leading to an overall drop in crime.

According to the Department’s own crime statistics (PDF, June 15), overall crime is up by 10% — and up in nearly every category other than murder.

I’ve heard a smattering of stories from friends and neighbors about robberies: one pizzeria was robbed at gunpoint in daylight after the lunch crowd in the Ironbound. Some muggings have been reported near Penn Station. A friend’s apartment was robbed for some jewelry.

These crimes need serious attention and redistribution of forces. But, in comparison to a plunging murder rate, these other things don’t seem quite as shocking as they were when I first heard about them.

Incidentally, we know why Booker was as cool as a cucumber when he lost those local elections so miserably. When you deliver solid, outstanding results like this, who needs to bow to the political machine?

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

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