Report: New Jersey crime rates fall overall, but murders up

New state data shows New Jersey’s crime rates fell slightly from 2012 to 2013, but murders continued to rise for the fifth straight year.

The Uniform Crime Report issued by the state attorney general’s office shows criminal cases reported across New Jersey were down 7 percent overall, while violent crimes remained almost level, decreasing by 1 percent.

The report showed there were 401 murders in 2013, an increase of 4 percent rise over the previous year.

Handguns were used in more than 70 percent of the killings, and about one-third of the state’s murders occurred in Essex County. Overall, half of the victims were between 15 and 29 years of age, and the majority of the murder victims were black males.

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