Crime up 7 percent in 2015

After three consecutive years dropping, reported incidents of crime in Rahway rose by 7 percent last year after a historically low 2014.

Rahway was one of just six towns in Union County to see a spike in crime in 2015 , going from 471 to 504 incidents. The increase was the lowest among them, though the percentages skew a bit because some numbers are so low (Mountainside, +36 percent from 28 to 38 incidents overall; Clark, +20 percent; Springfield, +11 percent).

Within Union County, 16 towns reported decreases; Garwood reported exactly the same number of crime incidents. Data come from the state’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR), which recently was updated to include the complete 12 months of 2015 for the first time.

Most neighboring towns outside of Union County also reported decreases:

  • Carteret, -5.6 percent
  • Clark, +20 percent (150 incidents to 180; +15 in larceny)
  • Edison, +7 percent
  • Linden, -7.1 percent
  • Metuchen, -1.8 percent
  • Perth Amboy, -22.4 percent
  • Roselle, -5.9 percent
  • Woodbridge, -7.8 percent

There was nothing extraordinary within Rahway’s numbers: The overall clearance rate was near 28 percent, toward the top half among other Union County towns. There was a spike in theft but a dip in burglary. You also might notice a big spike in murders — 4 last year versus 0 the prior year (and most years) — but while those get the headlines, in most cases victims know the perpetrators so it’s not like there’s a serial killer out there. Plus, arrests have been made in all four murder cases.

Police Chief John Rodger stressed the crime rate per 1,000 residents, which changed less than 1 percent. “We put a lot of effort into robbery and burglary prevention and apprehension, and I’m glad to see those numbers improved.” Last year, he said 2014 might have seen the city’s crime numbers flattening out, considering how low they were.

It’s about the third time in the last decade that crime has increased in Rahway from year to year. It’s also important to look at not only neighboring towns in the same year but historical data specifically for Rahway. Mind you, there may be some differences over 20 years in terms of how data are classified, but still, here’s almost 20 years worth of UCR data specifically for Rahway, including 5-, and 10-year averages — enjoy!

While crime rose about 7 percent, you might notice that crime rates still are generally below 5- and 10-year averages, and far below what they were 15+ years ago. Anyway, like I said, it’s enlightening to sift through all the compiled historical data.

One thought on “Crime up 7 percent in 2015”

  1. It seems like Rahway is heading in the right direction. When comparing 5 year averages in the data, the Crime Rate per 1,000 drops by about 5 points compared to the next 5 year average.

    This also means the crime rate decrease percentage is increasing (~14% drop ’97-’01 compared to ’02-’06, ~16% drop ’02-’06 compared to ’07-’11, ~20% drop ’07-’11 compared to ’12-’15) If this trend continues, we’ll see a 25% drop and be around 13% Crime Rate per 1,000 in 2020.

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