By ROBERT LINNEHAN
Haddonfield followed suit with the state as the borough saw its uniform crime rate drop in 2009. Overall crime in the state dropped 9 percent from the 2008 rate, reported Attorney General Paula T. Dow as she released the 2009 Uniform Crime Report.
In Haddonfield, the overall incidents of crime decreased by almost 18 percent over 2008. In 2009, Haddonfield saw its crime index total decrease by 39 incidents to a total of 178.
It’s nice to be able to evaluate your community from year-to-year, Haddonfield Police Chief John Banning said, and the numbers for 2009 are encouraging. However, without looking through the records, Banning estimated that for 2010 Haddonfield will see an increase in crime.
With such a down economy, Banning said incidents of car theft and property thefts have been on the rise so far this year.
Unlocked cars provide an easy way for burglars to steal valuable property from residents, he said, and many robbers have been stealing copper downspouts from homes to sell for scrap.
Violent crime decreased in Haddonfield in 2009 as well.
In 2008 there were 13 such incidents, which decreased to only six in 2009.
Rape and murder incidents remained at zero for both 2008 and 2009.
Non-violent crime decreased to 172 incidents in 2009, down from 204 in 2008.
According to the report, total violent crime in the state dropped for the eighth year in a row, with rape, robbery, and aggravated assault incidents also on the decline.
Murders also dropped in 2009, with only 320 cases down from 376 in 2008.
Non-violent crime decreased by more than 9 percent as well from 2008.
Non-violent crime consists of burglaries, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft.
According to the state, the annual UCR, prepared by the State Police Uniform Crime Reporting Unit, measures offenses committed during the period spanning from Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2009.
“Our latest crime data shows reductions in just about all major categories of crime.
“This is testimony to the skill and dedication of the men and women of our law enforcement community,” Dow said in a press release.
“While I am encouraged by this downward trend in the overall crime index and violent crime, law enforcement will have to continue to work even harder and smarter, especially during this economic crisis facing our state and nation.”