There is more to Glassboro’s crime rate! Don’t get it misunderstood.
Crime in Glassboro is on a rampage, or that’s what its crime rate tells us. On average police respond to several calls throughout their shift. On a good day, these calls could mean nothing, but on other occasions, these calls occur due to robbery, grand theft, rape, drug trafficking, burglary and so on. Crime rates were introduced to help us keep track of the number of crimes committed in a neighborhood. But before we talk about crime rates, let’s establish the legal definition of a crime. According to For Law Dictionary by John Bouvier, crime is “a violation of a law in which there is an injury to the public or a member of the public, and there is a term in jail or prison, and/or a fine as possible penalties…” In other words, all John Bouvier is saying is that a crime is an action that breaks the rule of law, or the laws of a community.
Now back to crime rates and how they come up with the numbers. In the United States, the mathematical definition of crime rate, according to the “Computational Formulas” of California’s government, is the number of crimes reported to law enforcement agencies per 100,000 total population. This is a great general formula, but it provides an inflated data when the crime rate for towns with a population less than 100,000 people. According to Crime Rate Law and Legal Definition, a post on USLegal website, we understand that “crime rates help law enforcement agencies access the effectiveness of a crime control policy…” That’s a nice way of saying crime rates also reflect on the impotence of law enforcement agencies in a community.
For instance, Glassboro, a small suburban town in south New Jersey, has a high crime rate in comparison to most other suburban towns in both New Jersey and the nation. Can this be the result of ineffective policing in Glassboro, or failing safety policies and procedures in Glassboro? The answer to that is neither, but one thing for sure is, the police officers in Glassboro are responding to lots of 911 calls. Crime rates as previously discussed can be calculated only if our officers are made aware of the “crime” that has been committed, and after assessing the situation, the incident is logged and decided [the incident is not decided] if further action needs to be taken. But what if our law enforcement officers aren’t made aware of certain crimes that occur in a neighborhood? In this case, there will be no record of those offenses, and they may never be reflected in the city’s crime report. Even better, certain crimes can be categorized in ways that can mislead viewers or inhabitants that their community is safer than some other town, which can create a false sense of safety relative to other towns.
Regardless of that, how does that define Glassboro’s rising crime rate? Well, understand that even though there is a legal definition of crime provided, there are slight variations in the definition as we go from town to town and even generation to generation
s. What might be a crime in Glassboro, may be overlooked in another city, or the criminal being let off with a warning or no legal implications. Also, cases that might be deemed as serious offenses may be viewed as misdemeanors or “light” crimes. Either way, it varies in communities. So comparing the crime rates of different communities can be misleading. The better way to determine if a city is getting safer or worse is to compare the stats from its previous years because every city has its own different culture, and make-up. Glassboro, for the most part, harbors Rowan University with about 15,401 students, with the remaining 4,610 as Glassboro residence. This leaves Glassboro with about 20,011 residents, with some Rowan students as residents. Rowan University is known for its wild weekend parties and “crazy” frat activities. According to student A from Rowan University, whose identity won’t be disclosed for privacy reasons, claims that he is “living” his best life. When asked about it, he said, “Bro there is always a party going on somewhere in Rowan.” Curious enough the question about cops shutting down parties and arresting students rose, and he responded, “Yeah, all the time. I got a citation for pissing outside the other time. To be honest, I was glad they did not get me for being drunk, and the weed that was in my pocket.” That statement intrigued me and got me to thinking, what if Rowan is part of the reason Glassboro has high crime rates.
According to Neighborhood Scout, areas harboring and neighboring Rowan University have the highest crime potential. It’s also marked as the most “dangerous” part of Glassboro. This may be due to the activities that go on at Rowan University. Just like every college, Rowan attracts outsiders into its environment, and the presence of outsiders should be taken into account when calculating the crime rate of Glassboro. Well, for starters, we don’t know if these crimes were committed by Glassboro residents or “troublemakers” stopping by Glassboro, more specifically Rowan University for a party. If our law enforcement agencies separate crimes committed by Glassboro residents from non-residents, there will be a decrease in the numbers that are reported yearly by our police officers. From Rowan’s 2018 Annual Security and Fire Safety data, There were 1,053 instances of a crime at Rowan’s main campus alone in the year 2017. This stat is included in Glassboro’s crime report regardless of what the crime was.
The severity of these crimes is debatable based on what, how, and why they occurred. Regardless the stats are rising for Glassboro. From Neighbourhood Scout, Glassboro is reported to have a crime index of 16; for those who may not know what a crime index is, crime index is 0-100 rating scale. Where 100 is the safest and 0 is the most dangerous. According to Neighbourhood Scout, the Index is based on the crime rate per 1,000 population for all crimes in a specific neighborhood or city. So an index of 70 implies your city is safer than 70% of cities in the United States. With that said, Glassboro’s index of 16 implies that Glassboro is safer than 16 percent of U.S cities. That’s scary if you think of how many cities and towns are in mainland U.S.A, not including U.S territories, and islands. That’s still a lousy number for Glassboro. We all know the popular stereotype about the neighborhoods densely occupied by minorities, and/ or people of color. Well, I hope that did not cross your mind, because, according to Neighborhood Scout, 67.9 percent of Glassboro’s population is white or of European descent, and about 16.5 percent is of African descent. The remainder is either of Asian, Native, Hispanic or of 2 or more races.
It might seem unnecessary knowing all these data about Glassboro, but the purpose is to alert you on the tiny things that contribute to the rising crime rate of Glassboro township. And Yes, I’m aware of my claim, which is, Burglary is the reason why Glassboro has a high rising crime rate. But after weeks of investigating and questioning. I found my hypothesis to be disputable. I realized that the crime rate in Glassboro is heavily influenced by burglary and the other crimes that occur within its neighborhood. Although this town has a high crime rate, it is not among the list of cities with the highest crime rates in the United States. Yet Glassboro’s numbers are higher than the national average of all communities in the United States. Based on the FBI’s findings we can conclude that Glassboro isn’t one of the safest neighborhood in the States. Chances of being a victim to a violent or property crime in Glassboro is 1 in 31. This puts Glassboro with the 10 percent cities with the highest crime stat in New Jersey. With that statement, about 32 crimes are committed per resident in Glassboro. This data covers Glassboro’s property and violent crimes. But before we continue, let us learn the difference between the two.
On a quick gland, our intuition will tell us property crimes probably consist of atrocities done to people’s property and so on. Well, that’s true, but there is more to it. Larceny, motor vehicle theft, shoplifting, burglary, vandalism, robbery et.c. Property crime are crimes to obtain money, property or some other benefits; according to Property crime from Wikipedia. This definition shows the broad range in which property crimes full under. Violent crimes, according to Wikipedia, on the other hand, aren’t as tricky as property crimes. Crimes that are done with the intention or threat of hurting a victim. Murder, rape, and assault are clear examples of violent crime. Knowing these distinctions between these types of crime, we can continue on our path to discovering which crimes heavily impact the town of Glassboro.
When it comes to violent crimes, the odds of being a victim of one in Glassboro is 1 in 472, which equates to 2 per 1000 residents in Glassboro. Statistically speaking that’s higher than the New Jersey’s average, which includes all its small cities. Despite the high numbers, Glassboro has 0 reports or incidents of murder. While New Jersey’s violent crime tally may indicate the odds of 1 in 408 residents is a victim of a violent crime. But the murder tally for New Jersey is far higher than that of Glassboro. Unofficial numbers show that about 334 homicide was recorded, according to Cohen and Iati from nj.com. The national average on violent crime is 3970 offenses per 1000 people; that’s a rate of 3.97 in violent crimes. With about 4983 instances of murder in the United States.
On the other hand, the numbers spike up when it comes to property crimes. For Glassboro; as recorded in Neighborhood Scout, 1 in 33 people are victims of a property crime. This leads to about 30 crimes per 1000 inhabitants. Compared to New Jersey state average, which is 1 in 65. This indicates that Glassboro residents are 2 times more likely to be a victim of property crime than any other place in New Jersey.
On a national level, the numbers show that there are 24,510 cases for every 1000 people in the United States. That’s a property crime rate of 24.51. It is recorded that Glassboro accumulates most of its numbers from theft followed by burglary. Theft alone has a rate of 20.97 occurrences per 1000 residents in Glassboro, and 11.35 occurrences per 1000 residents in New Jersey. Nationwide the numbers are 17.45 occurrences per 1000 residence in the United States. All the same, theft has the highest recording in all levels; from Glassboro to the national level. With burglary trailing with about 8.12 occurrences per 1000 people in Glassboro. So saying that Burglary is the major factor that drives Glassboro’s crime rate can be booted out of the window because statistics prove that theft is the leading crime in Glassboro, and/ or nationally.
Other crimes such as motor vehicle theft in the town have low numbers up to 0.91 cases per 1000 residence. It may look relatively small compared to the other crimes in Glassboro, but after combining even the tiniest numbers, they amount to large figures altogether.
Others may argue that Glassboro is a dangerous town altogether and if we were to look at a different suburban town such as Old Bridge, which has a population of 67,032 habitats; A far greater population than that of Glassboro. Old Bridge has an index of 65, which implies that it’s safer than 65% of most United States’ cities. Hands down that’s a remarkable statistic to go by. According to the FBI’s crime statistics, the chances of being a victim of a crime in Old Bridge is 1 in 96, which ultimately computes to a crime rate of 10.43 per 1000 residents. Old Bridge has both its property and violent crime rate lower than the national average, and on the state level, it is among the 43% of cities that have the lowest crime data in New Jersey.
An applaud is overdue for the policing staff, and residents of Old Bridge; if not already done, but with these stats presented, we must remember that both towns consist of different geographic and social makeup. Old Bridge for starters has 71.6% of its population that is White, 11.4% Hispanic, 4.5% Black, and the remaining either Native or of two races. With this demographic makeup, it should be no surprise that the crime numbers for Old Bridge are this low. Also, this suburban neighborhood has no large institutions, such as a State college or private college, and/ or even a mall. For a large town, it sure seems to be missing certain things that may be the difference in having a low crime rate or a high crime rate.
“Crime Rate and Legal Definition.” U.S Legal, Retrieved 4 December 2018, https://definitions.uslegal.com/c/crime-rate/.
Cohen N., and Iati M. (2018). “Homicides dropped by 7 percent in 2017. Here’s how many each county had.” NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, https://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2018/01/2017_homicides_shell_do_not_post.html. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
“Computational Formula”. State of California Department of Justice, Retrieved 17 October 2018. https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/cjsc/prof10/formulas.pdf .
crime. (n.d.) A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier.. (1856). Retrieved 4 December 2018, from https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/crime
“Glassboro, NJ Crime Rates.” Neighborhood Scout, Retrieved 5 December 2018. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/nj/glassboro/crime.
“Old Bridge, NJ Crime Rates.” Neighborhood Scout, Retrieved 5 December 2018. https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/nj/old-bridge/crime
“Property Crime.” Wikipedia. Retrieved 2 December 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property_crime.
“Violent Crime.” Wikipedia. Retrieved 2 December 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violent_crime.
“What is the Crime Index?”. Neighborhood Scout, Retrieved 17 October 2018. https://help.neighborhoodscout.com/support/solutions/articles/25000001997-what-is-the-crime-index- .
“2018 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, Rowan Campus Securtity.” Retrieved 5 December 2018, https://sites.rowan.edu/publicsafety/_docs/annual_security_report.pdf