Posted Friday, May 5th, 2017

Crime in Morris County Continues to Decrease — Lowest Rate in 20 Years

Morris County Prosecutor's logoThat’s the encouraging news from the latest Uniform Crime Report (UCR) of the New Jersey State Police. The UCR tracks crimes by municipality and county in seven different areas: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft.

The total number of crimes in Morris County in 2015, the last year covered by the report, was 4,375 offenses, a nearly 12 percent drop from 2014 when 4,962 crimes were recorded.

Violent crime, which includes murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, decreased from 305 in 2014 to 291 in 2015.

Non-violent crimes, including burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft, dropped from 4,657 in 2014 to 4,084 in 2015.

That’s very good news, but it’s even better when viewed over a longer span of time. A review of the UCR from 1996 shows that the 2015 crime numbers were the lowest in Morris County in 20 years.  There were 9,218 recorded crimes in Morris County in 1996, more than twice as many as there were in 2015.

The huge drop over 20 years is across the board.

Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp

Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp

The county experienced 583 violent crimes in 1996 compared to the 291 recorded in 2015. Non-violent crimes decreased similarly over the last two decades, from 8,635 in 1996 to 2015’s 4,084.

The drop is even more significant when you consider that the county’s population has increased from an estimated 421,000 in the 1990s to 498,000 today.

“We are very pleased that the crime rate in Morris County has declined. However, we must of course remain vigilant to ensure this trend continues for the safety of our residents.” said Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp.

The crime drop in Morris County mirrors what is being seen across the state and the country. Experts attribute the drop to a number of factors, including better training of police officers, more cooperation among agencies and advancing technology.

For more information, contact Public Information Officer Fred Snowflack at [email protected] or (973) 829-8159.