Crime decreases 31.6 percent from last year

By KRISTINA SCALA

Haddonfield’s crime has decreased 31.6 percent from last year, with 43 fewer offenses, according to the state’s recently released Uniform Crime Reporting statistics.

According to Haddonfield Police Chief John Banning, the department looks at the numbers recorded in a five-year period for long-term adjustments.

The biggest change in the numbers is in burglaries, which showed a 71.4 percent decrease, or 30 offenses, from January to June 2013, compared to that time period in 2012.

“It’s hard to tell” what affects the numbers on a year-to-year basis, Banning said, as surrounding towns also showed a decrease in crime. Towns such as Haddon Township experienced a 62.3 percent decrease in overall crime, 59.4 percent (160 to 65) in theft and 71.2 percent decrease in burglary. Collingswood also had a decrease of 31 percent of overall crime (339 to 234), 41 percent in theft (188 to 111) and a 9.2 percent decrease in burglary (65 to 59)

“It’s a possibility the same people caused the same problems,” he said.

The department added one new officer to a 21-man department. All are fulltime officers, Banning said.

For such a small department with a lower crime rate when compared to towns with a larger population, the department does not have a special system to track crimes. He said it’s easy enough for officers to search through past files to see where improvements need to be made and what to be on the lookout for.

“It’s not hard to figure out patterns,” he said.

To view a full copy of the state’s UCR reports, download the PDF at www.njsp.org/info/pdf/ucr/current/071213_crimetrend.pdf.