Crime in Cherry Hill Township is down 30.6 percent, according to the state’s Uniform Crime Reporting rate.
The report includes crimes from January to June of 2012 compared to crimes from January to June of this year.
Last year, there were 963 incidents of theft; only 694 have been reported thus far in 2013. Additionally, 102 assaults have been reported, compared to 130 in 2012.
“I think there’s a lot of factors that play into this,” police Lt. Sean Redmond said. “If you look at April, May or June, it’s either been too hot or too rainy.”
According to Redmond, studies have shown that crime decreases in the summer.
“I think it’s a factor that plays a role in decreasing of crime,” Redmond said.
Additionally, Cherry Hill Police have a constant presence in high areas of commerce, Redmond said.
“There is either a police car in the area or police walking around. I think both of those factors dissuade people from committing crimes,” Redmond said.
The department’s community involvement and open communication assist in deterring crime, Redmond said.
A Facebook page is run to share information with residents, in addition to serving as a forum to report crime. According to Redmond, it assists in the “solvability and reportability” of crimes.
“We’d have a situation in which we’d have to go and track a lead down. Now we have social media, and we use it to our advantage,” Redmond said.
Social media can play a large role in identifying thieves, with the ability to post photos of the criminals.
According to the report, robbery decreased slightly from 2012 to 2013. Twenty-two incidents were reported last year, compared to 18 in 2013.
“We want to keep residents as informed as we can,” Redmond said.
In addition to attempting to identify and apprehend suspects, the Facebook page is used as a vehicle to educate residents on crime happening throughout the township.
“I think [posting the] information gets a positive reaction. An educated populous is a good populous. They should know what’s happening in the township,” Redmond said.
Recently, the department utilized the page to announce seven new officers. According to Redmond, Cherry Hill Township has 130 officers.
“We hired to replace officers that retired,” Redmond said. “You don’t want to show a deficit in public safety, which equates to a lack of protection. We don’t want that.”
Part of keeping crime low is residents’ involvement, including keeping themselves safe.
“What we say every year is be aware of your surroundings,” Redmond said. “Don’t be hesitant to give us a call to help you out. If someone sees something or feels unsafe, give us a call to let us help you out.”
For more information on the Cherry Hill Police Department, visit www.cherryhill-nj.com.