Report: Camden crime spikes after police layoffs

March 3, 2011 7:08:00 AM PST
New Jersey's most crime-ridden city has been even worse since nearly half the police force was laid off in January.

A Camden County Prosecutor's Office report obtained by The Courier News of Cherry Hill and the Philadelphia Inquirer shows there have been 79 aggravated assaults with a firearm this year in Camden, up from 22 during the same period in 2010. Shootings nearly doubled, increasing from 16 to 30.

Homicides were down to 4 from 7 a year ago.

Arsons, burglaries and rapes were up.

The city laid off nearly half its police force on Jan. 18 amid a budget crisis. The police department demoted superior officers to replenish patrols.

Police are not responding to minor incidents, such as fender-benders in which no one is injured.

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