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The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the sixth annual Safest Cities report. Here are the 20 Safest Cities in New Jersey for 2020. See if your city made the list.
New Jersey is slightly less concerned about safety on a daily basis than the national average. Low crime rates, limited personal experience with crime, and this year’s 50 safest cities are part of the reason New Jersey residents don’t stay up at night worrying about their safety.
The number of people feeling high concern for their safety on a daily basis dropped by 10 percentage points in New Jersey, according to our 2020 State of Safety survey. In 2019, 54% expressed a high level of concern every day.
It helps that the Garden State’s crime rates are consistently below national averages. Year over year, the state’s violent crime rate dropped from 2.3 incidents per 1,000 to 2.1. Likewise, New Jersey’s property crime rate fell from 15.8 to 14.0. Both rates are below the nationwide rates of 3.7 for violent crime and 22.0 for property crime.
Although personal experience with both violent and property crime rose between 2019 and 2020, New Jersey reports are still under national averages. Just 6% of New Jersey respondents reported a personal experience with violent crime in the past 12 months (12% nationally) and 15% said they had experienced property crime (26% nationally).
Violent Crime in New Jersey: Fear vs. Reality
When it comes to violent crime, being physically assaulted by a stranger is the crime that has most New Jerseyans worried. It’s also the violent crime they think most likely to actually happen to them.
Just 6% experienced a violent crime in the past 12 months, compared to the national average of 12%.
41% indicated the highest concern about physical assault by a stranger, versus 40% across the US.
31% think they’re most likely to fall victim to a physical assault by a stranger, compared to 26% nationwide.
Aggravated assault was the most common violent crime in New Jersey, comprising 67% of all violent crime reported among the safest cities and 56% across the state.
Property Crime in New Jersey: Fear vs. Reality
Theft of digital property, like photos and files, is the biggest property crime concern in the Garden State. Last year, digital security was the overall safety concern in the state, with 71% of respondents marking it of high or very high concern.
15% of New Jersey respondents had a personal experience with property crime in the past 12 months, compared to 26% nationally.
56% named digital property theft the most concerning property crime, versus 52% across the country.
49% said that having digital property stolen is the property crime they think is most likely to actually happen. That’s 13 points higher than the national average of 36%.
Larceny-theft was the most common property crime in New Jersey, accounting for 80% of all incidents among the safest cities and 76% across the state.
29% of New Jersey respondents use a security system to protect their property. That’s five points above the national average of 24%.
Security systems are the top security measure used in New Jersey, followed by security cameras with 26% of all respondents using them.
33% don’t use any measure of protection for their property, compared to 29% nationwide.
A Closer Look at New Jersey’s Safest Cities of 2020
For the purposes of this report, the terms “safest” and “dangerous” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more