There were 23,004 violent crimes reported in New Jersey in 2014, the most recent year in which full statistics are available. That represents a 10 percent drop and 2.6 violent crimes per 1,000 permanent residents.
There were decreases in the rate of murders (354 or -12 percent), robberies (10,492 or -13 percent), and aggravated assault (11,208 or -7 percent). The only crime that rose was rape, which saw an increase in reported crimes of 9 percent to 950.
A similar pattern could be seen in the number of offenses “cleared” -- someone was charged or the charges were dropped. More murders, robberies, and assaults were cleared while the number of rapes that were cleared dropped 10 percent.
Firearms were responsible for 72 percent of the deaths, with 248 committed with handguns. Juveniles were involved in a significant number of crimes, especially rapes (13 percent) and robberies (17 percent).
When it came to murders, the age group of 20-24 accounted for 23 percent of the victims. Only 11 percent of the murders were committed by strangers. While quarrels (84), domestic violence (42), and drugs and gang-related violence (26) were the cause of many of the deaths, circumstances could not be determined in 124 instances.