North Brunswick police report decrease in robberies, auto burglaries

By Jennifer Amato
Staff Writer

NORTH BRUNSWICK – The North Brunswick Police Department is reporting an overall reduction in crime last year.

The department handled a total of 77,751 incidents in the calendar year 2015, including 22,895 calls for service, according to a statement prepared by the department based on information compiled from the department’s computer assisted dispatch system and the Uniform Crime Report System.

There were 1,968 motor vehicle crashes investigated and reported. Of 18,659 motor vehicle stops, 23,948 summonses were issued.

There were 1,159 total arrests for the year.

Police noticed a 23.1 percent decrease in robberies, an 18.6 percent decrease in auto burglaries and a 57.9 percent decrease in shoplifting incidents, bringing the township’s overall Crime Index down by 21.2 percent.

Looking at the period of the last 10 years, comparing 2005-15, the department has seen robberies drop by more than 50 percent, non-residential burglaries lower by almost 68 percent, residential burglaries fall by approximately 25 percent, motor vehicle thefts decrease by 57 percent and arson cases down by exactly 50 percent, according to the statistics.

This past year was also the 10-year low of all types of burglaries combined.

Officials credit the reduction in crime to added equipment, the hiring of more officers and the support of the mayor, town council and business administrator’s office.

“While it is difficult to point to one particular strategy that reduces crime, we believe it is affected in part to our proactive policing strategies that we implement on a quarterly basis,” Director of Public Safety Kenneth McCormick said.

“Every month we have COMPSTAT meetings with all of our management team. These meetings are modeled off of the New York City COMPSTAT model that has been in place for many years and has been attributed to the significant reductions in crime there. In our meetings we try to predict through crime analysis not only what types of crime we are experiencing on a daily basis but also what types of crime we may see in the near future based on past crime analysis. For example, we see spikes in bike thefts during the spring and summer months and we may see increases in residential burglaries around the holidays. We then task our middle operational managers, lieutenants, with developing written proactive strategies. We review those strategies and send them back to the lieutenants to implement. Then we review the results of these initiatives and change them as needed.”

Crimes reduced through this manner include shoplifting, senior citizen and contractor fraud, drunk driving and burglaries.

Residents also play a key role by being proactive.

“Our message to all residents has always been that they are our partners in crime fighting strategies and are our best resource. The residents know their respective areas better than anyone else. They know what cars belong on their streets and who belongs in their neighborhoods. Working together we can make a difference on crime in North Brunswick,” McCormick said.

Contact Jennifer Amato at jamato@gmnews.com.

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