Newark Mayor Ras Baraka: 10 percent decrease in violent crime from 2015

NEWARK, New Jersey -- Violent crime in Newark has fallen about 10 percent in the last year, a result partly attributable to greater numbers of police officers, more community engagement and better coordination with state and local law enforcement, Mayor Ras Baraka said Tuesday.

Baraka and Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose released the statistics on crimes including murder, rape, robbery, assault and burglary.

According to statistics compiled by the police department, murders were down 10 percent, from 103 to 93; robberies were down 23 percent, from 1,788 to 1,384; burglaries also were down 23 percent, from 1,480 to 1,134, and non-fatal shootings were down 20 percent, from 256 to 204.

In addition, auto thefts fell from 2,510 in 2015 to 2,101 this year, a drop of 16 percent.

There was an increase in one category: aggravated assaults, which went up about 10 percent, from 1,020 to 1,126.

The officials said an increase in police staffing and partnerships with county and state law enforcement are among the reasons for the lower crime numbers.

"With our increases in police manpower, deployment of new technologies and the growing involvement and cooperation of community members with the police, we are well positioned to see further decreases in crime next year," Baraka said.

Newark's police department is under federal monitoring after a Justice Department probe found officers routinely used excessive force and made street stops that disproportionately affected minorities.
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