Beating Crime in Newark
No city is without crime, but sometimes Newark feels like a particularly tough town. If you are reading this, there is a good chance you are someone you care about has fallen victim to a violent crime or theft. It’s frustrating, and even scary, but don’t give up hope. There is actually a lot you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones, and it starts with learning a little more about crime in Newark.
Newark is easily one of the most dangerous cities in the country. The overall crime rates are more than five times worse than the rest of New Jersey, and the biggest issues are with murder, robbery, assault and property crime. The best way to understand just how severe these issues are is to compare them to national averages.
The murder rate in Newark is 0.33. That seems like a low number until you look at the national rate, which is 0.04. Similarly, Newark has a 7.05 robbery rate and a 3.47 assault rate. The U.S. totals for those crimes are 1.02 for robbery and 2.32 for assault. Finally, there is burglary, which sits at 6.24, which is noticeably worse than the country’s rate of 5.43.
It isn’t all bad. Newark actually has a much lower than average rate of rape and personal theft. So, while your safety and valuables are at a greater risk, there are serious trends responsible for these numbers, and understanding them is the key to better safety.
A big portion of the violent crime in Newark comes from gang activity, and it is a major source of frustration for law enforcement. In most of the country, gang violence is a problem, but the bulk of it boils down to gang on gang actions. Most of the murders and assaults are retaliatory. This is a serious issue, but it dramatically reduces the number of non-gang members who get caught in the crossfire. Newark is a remarkable exception. The bulk of gang activity revolves around drug sales, and there are shockingly low numbers of retaliatory crimes. This puts bystanders at increased risk in two ways. First, individuals who are not affiliated with gangs are in more danger because the crime trends do not statistically exclude them. It’s pretty obvious, but if the gangs aren’t deliberately targeting other gangs, bystanders are at greater risk. This pales in comparison to the second risk, which is tied to the drug epidemic.
As strange as it might sound, the economics of drug trade are what lead to so many home intrusions. In gang driven drug trade, there is a limit to the amount of cash that flows into the illicit market. The shortage leads to an increase in burglary and theft to generate money that can be used to buy, produce and move the drugs in question. To summarize, the gang-driven drug epidemic in Newark is the primary cause of its extraordinary rates of violence and theft.
Because huge portions of crime in the city are tied to these narrow issues, the way these crimes are committed is much more predictable. The biggest areas of risk are homes and cars. Car security is tricky, and ultimately insurance is one of the most cost-effective ways to protect a vehicle and its contents. Homes, however, are a very different issue.
Insurance is certainly recommended to secure your finances, but home intrusion is much easier to prevent than vehicular theft.
A comprehensive study done by Rutgers has made it clear that home security systems are the single best deterrent against burglary and home intrusion. In fact, while systems make a single home more secure, they also reduce crime across neighborhoods. The most surprising part of the study showed that crime rates across a region fall faster than the rate of alarm installation. This means that security systems have an umbrella effect that incidentally reduce the risk of unsecured homes nearby.
The study went deeper and revealed why this happens. This first thing to understand is that alarm and security systems are improving just as fast as every other piece of the digital age. With sophistication and communication improving dramatically every year, it’s simply no longer worth a burglar’s time to stay ahead of the security systems. Instead, a seasoned expert in this respect will focus on identifying systems so they can move on to unsecure homes and have an easier time. The umbrella effect kicks in when multiple houses in a single neighborhood all have protection. The criminal will be less certain that an unsecured home really doesn’t have an alarm, and they become more likely to move to an entirely different neighborhood.
There is a clear road to safety here. Look into ways to better secure your home, and you will be marginally protected against the bulk of Newark’s crime. If you can regularly park your car in a secure lot or space, then you’ll be that much safer. Actively avoid the drug trade, and you have nailed the trifecta of best practices to stay safe in Newark.