In 2014, the city of Newark had a robbery rate more than two times higher than other cities of a comparable size. However, since 2013, robberies in Newark have been on the decline. So far in 2016, robbery is down 31% compared to the same time period in 2015. Geographically, the 2nd and 5th Precincts (North and South Wards) experience the most robberies. Temporally, over 40% of the robberies citywide occur between 4pm and midnight while each day of the week generally experiences same proportion of robberies.
Rutgers University-Newark/Safer Newark Council conducted an arrest analysis of those who have been arrested for robbery between January 1, 2014 to April 30, 2016. During the time period, 615 individuals accounted for 664 robbery arrests meaning that some individuals were arrested for multiple robberies during the time period. Over one-third of the individuals arrested were between 18 and 24 years old while juveniles accounted for 26.1% of the arrests.
A more detailed analysis was conducted on the criminal histories of individuals arrested for robbery in 2015 who were between 18 and 25 years old. Of the 261 arrests for robbery in 2015, 85 were for individuals in this age bracket (32.6%). Of these individuals, 42% of the arrestees had no prior adult arrests in New Jersey while 17.3% had only one prior adult arrest. For those individuals with prior adult arrests, 61.7% were charged with at least one drug offense and 34.0% were charged with at least one violent offense. Additionally, 40.4% of these individuals were convicted of a felony prior to the robbery arrest. Finally, 23.5% of the arrestees have been arrested since the robbery arrest.
Given the findings from the current analysis, it is appropriate to focus programs aimed at reducing robberies and recidivism on the young adult population. A large proportion of individuals arrested for robbery in this age group have no adult criminal history or a very limited criminal history indicating that it would be appropriate focus services on this group.