Perhaps thanks, in part, to the addition of several new officers to the police force, Moorestown saw a nearly 25 percent drop in crime in 2013.
According to the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) released by the state police Monday, the township had 420 total offenses in 2013, compared to 557 in 2012. The numbers in the report are still unofficial at this point.
Crime was down in several categories, including simple assaults—down 44 percent—and burglaries and thefts. Burglaries, in particular, saw a steep decline. Overall, the number of burglaries sank by 47 percent—from 72 incidents in 2012 to 38 in 2013.
Due to the cyclical nature of crime—particularly offenses such as burglaries—it’s difficult to pinpoint a specific reason or reasons for the drop in illegal activity, said Moorestown Police Lt. Lee Lieber.
“We don’t like to rest on our laurels,” said Lieber, adding, “Obviously we’re very happy the major numbers are down.”
Lieber noted that the four Class II special officers—part-timers with the same training as full-time officers—hired in 2012 were used more heavily in patrol situations in 2013. In particular, he said, the special officers could be (and have been) used to “flood an area” in response to a crime or series of crimes—burglaries, for example.
“All four have shown a great aptitude for the job,” he said. “They’re just as good as the full-time guys.”
Lieber also credited residents for being vigilant and supplying information to the department.
Crime in Mount Laurel and Maple Shade also decreased by about 9 and 17 percent, respectively.
Overall, the number of crimes committed in Burlington County dropped by nearly 17 percent in 2013, according to the UCR.
Among the more noteworthy numbers from the county report:
There were seven murders in the county in 2013, compared to just two in 2012, several of which occurred in the last few months of year.
Assaults involving a knife or cutting instrument dropped 44 percent.
The total number of burglaries in Burlington County dropped 21 percent.
- Motor vehicle thefts went down 30 percent.