With three months to go this year, New Jersey State Police report that crime overall has gone up 1.7 percent in Hopatcong compared to the first nine months of 2012. The stats are made interesting because of an apparent steep rise caused by a handful of violent crimes in 2013 where none occurred last year, according to the most recent New Jersey State Police's uniform crime report, released Oct. 11.
The report showcases crime statistics from municipalities across New Jersey.
Total crimes reported in the borough from January to September 2013 were 122 incidents, compared to 120 in the same time period last year. With that news, it could be argued that crime essentially remained flat in Hopatcong.
The borough saw its sharpest declines in strong-arm robbery and assault. There was one strong-arm theft in the first months of 2012 and none so far this year. There were four aggravated assaults between January and September last year, but only two in 2013, for a drop of 50 percent. Simple assaults in Hopatcong decreased by 41 percent; there were 39 incidents in 2012 and only 23 for the same none-month period this year.
Increases were found in other types of assault—gun, knife and "other dangerous weapon"—that, when folded into the drops for aggravated assault, show an 80 percent increase in that category of crime between January and September 2013. It must be noted, however, that the huge spike is directly related to the fact that in 2012 there was one gun-involved assault and none of the other types. In the first nine months of this year, police report one gun-involved assault, four involving a knife or cutting instrument and two involving a different type of weapon.
Decreases in crime also were noted in larcenies, which fell from 114 incidents in the first nine months of 2012 to 86 so far this year while simple assaults rose from 23 to 25.
The incidence of simple assault rose slightly, from 23 between January and September, 2012 to 25 for the first nine months of 2013.
There was also a substantial rise in the number of burglaries, according to the report.
Forcible entry burglaries rose from 9 in the first three quarters of 2012 to 13 between January and September, 2013, a rise of 44.4 percent.
Unlawful entry burglaries jumped from 7 to 15, a leap of 114.3 percent.
In all, the report says that violent crime in Hopatcong rose 66.7 percent, while nonviolent crime increased by 18.7 between January and September of this year.