Crime report for 2015 in Moorestown says crime is down

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The state has released its end-of-the-year Uniform Crime Report for 2015, and compared to 2014, the crime rate is down in Moorestown.

Moorestown had a 23.9 percent decrease in crime from 2014 to 2015. Last year, there were 341 crimes compared to 448 in 2014.

“While we are encouraged by a year-to-year drop in crime, crime itself is cyclical in nature with crimes rising and falling each year,” said Chief of Police Lee Lieber.

According to Lieber the Moorestown Police Department looks at the UCR reports over a period of years to see how crime is trending for long term planning. Using reports generated by countywide records management systems, it is able to target identified problem areas to help reduce crime.

Some of the biggest decreases in 2015 were in robbery and simple assault. Robberies were down 80 percent while simple assaults were down 48.8 percent.

In 2015, Moorestown detectives brought a string of robberies to a successful resolution. Since the string of robberies, Moorestown officers have remained vigilant, patrolling areas that could be susceptible to robberies, so that the department could work to prevent further occurrences.

“We don’t normally see many robberies occurring in Moorestown,” Lieber said.

Simple assaults are historically a spontaneous crime dealing with the human factor that police have little control over, according to Lieber. So, though he feels encouraged by the drop, that can change next year.

Lieber feels that the decrease in crime could be attributed to residents taking action.

“We have continued to encourage our residents to partner with us in fighting crime by contacting us when they see suspicious activity. Calls from engaged residents have no doubt been a factor in the crime reduction, allowing us to deter crime before it occurs,” Lieber said.

In 2015, the Moorestown Police Department added two SLEO II officers, allowing the department to deploy them regularly, checking in on the Church Street Rec Center, the library and the Main Street Business District.

To more quickly obtain potential video evidence from business/residential closed-circuit television systems to solve crimes, the Moorestown Police Department also instituted a voluntary CCTV registration program so that detectives can quickly assess where video may be available and contact the owner to arrange for viewing.

In 2016, to decrease the likelihood of having to use deadly force, the department deployed conducted energy devices manufactured by Taser as of January. For accountability, protecting both citizens and officers, the Moorestown Police Department has upgraded its patrol car camera systems. The department will also be deploying body worn

cameras in the first quarter of 2016.

“To be more environmentally and economically friendly, we have been transitioning our patrol vehicle fleet to the Ford Utility SUV replacing the larger Chevrolet Tahoe,” Lieber added.

Residents are encouraged to sign up for community notification systems and social media connected to the Moorestown Police Department such as “Swiftreach,” Nixle and Twitter.

“We are utilizing these various notification/social media products to keep our residents up to date and aware of what is going on in town, especially in times of emergency,” Lieber said.

Residents are also encouraged to visit the Moorestown Police Department’s website to obtain residential and vehicle burglary prevention information, and should take advantage of the online sign up for vacation/away house checks.

For more information, visit the department’s website at www.moorestownpd.com.