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Crime Up In Camden Since Massive Police Layoffs

Generic Police Photo (credit: Clipart.com)

Generic Police Photo (credit: Clipart.com)

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CAMDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — 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 four from seven 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 were not responding to minor incidents, such as fender-benders in which no one is injured.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)