Crime Rates Drop In Trenton During Pandemic Curfew

Trenton Police Director Sheilah Coley speaking after being appointed. Trenton Mayor Reed stands to her right. Photo by Rick Rickman.

City officials in Trenton, NJ are touting the results of a curfew implemented to cut down on crime during the pandemic.

Mayor Reed Gusciora announced the curfew on Monday, April 6 following a violent weekend in Trenton. Four separate shootings left three dead and five others injured. Three of those shootings took place the evening of Palm Sunday.

A comparison of April 2019 to April 2020 crime rates. (Part 1)

The curfew closes all businesses in Trenton, including gas stations, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. everyday. Vehicles are also not allowed on the road during this time.

Since then, crime rates have drastically decreased. Police Director Sheilah Coley states the number of incidents has dropped by half in some instances.

“Compared to April 2019, there was a ~60% drop in crime from April 2020 (See Part I). However, when we look at data for the hours of the 8 pm curfew, we see a greater decrease. Here we have a ~144% decrease in crime during those curfew hours.”

Gusciora also noted the curfew was the result of many people not adhering to social distancing, especially young people. However, the primary motive was mitigating violence.

A comparison of April 2019 to April 2020 crime rates during curfew hours. (Part 2)

“There’s no doubt in my mind that enacting the curfew has helped to keep families safe.,” said Gusciora. “Nobody should be out and about late at night during our current situation, especially when most businesses are closed in the area.”

The mayor also stated the curfew will remain in place for the time being.

“While we would like to lift the curfew as soon as we can, we’re simply not where we need to be in addressing spikes in violence. We’re seeing proven efficacy of our emergency policies. There is less crime, and Trentonians are safer with the measures that we have in place. But all things considered, the best thing for our community is to keep the curfew in place. We will review lifting the curfew every two weeks.”