Crime data nudges upward, barely

Reported crimes in Rahway were up, barely, and in only a few categories gauged in the latest state Uniform Crime Report (UCR), which reports 2007 data. The biggest increase was within larceny — up 7 percent from 433 to 463 reported incidents — and the crime rate crept up from 25.8 to 26.7. Still, the rate is far lower than it was five and 10 years ago: check out some historical data.

According to Police Chief John Rodger, a serial robber who also hit a few neighboring towns was responsible for several robberies. He said the city’s clearance rate (which isn’t reflected in the UCR but takes into account various factors involved in a crime’s solvability) is very good and Rahway compares favorably to other cities in the county, such as Linden, Union and Hillside. “Economy has lots to do with these numbers, and has had an impact and will continue to do so until it turns around,” Rodger said.

Rahway’s overall crime rate (26.7) is the sixth highest in among the 21 Union County towns, but the biggest dropoff occurs after the top four (Elizabeth, Plainfield, Linden and Hillside), all of which are 37.1 and higher. The overall crime rate in Union County was essentially the same as 2006 (29.4) while 13 of the the county’s 21 towns saw some kind of increase in their numbers. The median rate within the county belonged to Clark (15.5).

For the entire state UCR, click here. For what blog readers think about crime in Rahway, see our poll from February (scroll past Marisa Tomei) that asked, “Do you feel safe walking downtown?”