ADT Clifton, New Jersey

A Look at the Wild and Worried World of New Jersey Crime
New Jersey is one state that is already over the map in quality and expectations. Some cities boast some of the highest crime rates in the city, rivaling the likes of Chicago and Detroit. Others are pristine towns, with absurdly low crime rates and incredibly low rates of unemployment. New Jersey is an anomaly of expectations, taking what one would expect about any given area and turning it on its head. Clifton, New Jersey is only 11 square miles, but it manages to hold about 86,000 people. This can be a formula for disaster. It may be too many people in too confined a space. Do the crime rates reflect this reality? Given what is known about Clifton, the answer may be quite surprising. A Look at the Raw Data Clifton has crime statistics that increase and decrease with almost sporadic aplomb. Without much rhyme or reason, crime data varies tremendously. Take the example of auto thefts. The suburb saw 432 in the year of 2002, a number that is embarrassingly high. Yet, a decade-long record low occurred in 2013 with just 103 auto theft incidents. This difference is not confined to auto thefts. Burglaries are all over the map, with numbers ranging from 432 (2004) to 228 (2014). The city has a bizarre juxtaposition in its rape and murder records. Rape numbers are disparagingly high, with a peak of 12 in 2013. Clifton is low for murders, thankfully, with at least half of the last decade in years receiving a record of 0 murders. An anomaly occurred in 2005 with 5 murders. A pastor was stabbed 44 times by 64-year old Jose Feliciano. He was the church janitor at the time. That year, a man killed his 87 year old grandmother. Jose Feliciano stated that the pastor was blackmailing him with the knowledge of a molestation charge in Philadelphia. The claim added an extra layer of intrigue for the media, but the conviction went through with no possibility of parole. All 5 murders in 2008 were unconnected. This was far different from a gang situation that took half or more of the lives. These were unrelated and bizarre incidents of incredible violence. It was a dour year for the city leaders. The Bigger Picture The raw data does not tell anyone much without a strong comparison. Clifton, New Jersey has crime, and no one would deny that. The question is whether that crime is substantial enough to warrant intense concern or staying away entirely. The answer to that question is a resounding no. Looking back at the City-Data crime rates for the last time, Clifton is hardly an earth-shattering suburb. The national crime index is rated at 289.3 for the United States. This accounts for all crime types and weighs the crimes by severity. The average for Clifton is a comparatively measly 144.5. Not to discount the crimes committed in Clifton, but this is almost exactly half that of the national average. So not only is crime lower than the average, but it occurs half as often. The numbers from Neighborhood Scout seem to slightly contradict these numbers. The report suggests that Clifton is safer than 42% of cities in the United States. This seems to be a glaring disparity. How can a city that is about twice as safe as the United States average remain only safer than 42% of American cities. It would stand to reason the number would be closer to 25%. Of course, the average is all-encompassing. It does not break down the types of crimes and when they were committed. These numbers could shine further details about the crime rates of Clifton compared to the country as a whole. Further, Clifton is undeniably safer than the typical New Jersey city. Neighborhood Scout states that a citizen of the city has about a 1 in 455 chance of becoming a victim. The rate is 1 in 383 for the state of New Jersey. The Top 100 reported on a fascinating study of the most dangerous cities in New Jersey. New Jersey is a rather small state, yet Clifton managed to miss out on the top 100 most dangerous cities. This means that there are 100 other locations in Clifton that are considered higher in crime despite the above data from Neighborhood Scout. The cities at the top of the list are largely focused around Cape May and Atlantic Beach. These are major tourist havens. They are also right alongside the water and relatively close to New York City. Camden, in particular, is right across from the Big Apple. The area of Cumberland is also highly featured in the list, which is also unsurprising given its proximity to NYC. In all, Clifton and its surrounding neighborhoods are nowhere to be found on the list in the top 100. After digging through the deep, especially studious individuals may find Clifton ranks at about 359 out of 510 different cities. There remains a whole mess of cities with far worse crime rates. Clifton is still a place where safety is a viable concern, and which New Jersey city isn’t? But, citizens can have a certain pride that their city remains comparatively safe despite its proximity to New York City, Camden, and other areas where crime is rampant. Clifton is close to New York City. Settling in North jersey, the town may have a certain kinship with the city. It is certain that many Cliftonites work daily from the city and commute in and out. But, this proximity is not necessarily strongly reflected in high crime rates. Clifton is comparably safe. In the whole scheme of places to live and places to potentially even fear in New Jersey, Clifton hardly registers.