Since 2010, researchers at Rutgers-Newark have been conducting a detailed murder analysis for the City of Newark. Since that time, the places and people involved in these incidents are remarkably similar.
In 2016, consistent with prior years, the victims and suspects/persons of interest share very similar backgrounds. As the table depicts, the vast majority of those involved in murders are black males. Approximately one-third of the victims and two-fifths of the suspects were age 24 or younger with an average age of 30 for the victims and 27 for the suspects. These findings are consistent with the analysis conducted in earlier years. Additionally, murder victims averaged nine prior arrests while suspects averaged eight.
The motives for the murders do not change much year to year, either. Drug and personal disputes were the most common motive identified in 2016 and these two motives have been among the top three motives each year. While robbery was the motive in 21% of the murders in 2015, in 2016, robbery was a motive in only 7.9% of incidents. This reduction correlates to the 23% reduction in overall robbery incidents in the city in 2016 compared to 2015.
Spatially, the murder incidents are generally concentrated in certain areas of the city. The 1st Precinct which generally covers the Central Ward experienced 15 murders. The 2nd Precinct or North Ward experienced 20 murders. The 3rd Precinct which contains the East Ward had the fewest murders in the city with five. The West Ward or 4th Precinct experienced 17 murders. Finally, the 5th Precinct or South Ward experienced 32 murders. Even within the precinct or ward boundaries, the murders are spatially concentrated as can be seen in the map below.