Ocean County is a well-liked spot for both tourists and locals. Its attractive beaches, boardwalks, amusement parks, and natural sites draw people in. However, safety and tranquility aren’t consistent across the entire county. Certain areas have more crime and violence, making them less appealing for residence or tourism. This Article will delve into Ocean County’s top five dangerous neighborhoods, determined by recent crime data and reports.
Seaside Heights, situated on the Barnegat Peninsula, also known as the Barrier Island, is renowned for its beach and boardwalk, attracting millions of annual visitors. As per the FBI Uniform Crime Report of 2019, Seaside Heights had a violent crime rate of 1,125 per 100,000 residents, surpassing the national average of 367 per 100,000 residents by more than fivefold.
The prevalent violent crimes included aggravated assault, robbery, and rape. Additionally, the property crime rate stood notably high at 6,281 per 100,000 residents, in contrast to the national average of 2,110 per 100,000 residents.
Seaside Heights has grappled with crime and disorder for many years, being a focal point for issues like drug trafficking, gang activity, prostitution, and incidents related to alcohol.
Lakewood, situated in Ocean County’s central area, stands as the most populous township in the region, boasting an approximate population of 135,158 as of 2020. This community is characterized by its diversity and rapid growth, particularly due to its substantial Hispanic and Orthodox Jewish populations.
Based on data from the FBI Uniform Crime Report, Lakewood exhibited a higher-than-average rate of violent crime, reaching 405 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2019, in comparison to the national average of 367 per 100,000 residents. Additionally, the property crime rate was also elevated at 2,582 incidents per 100,000 residents, as opposed to the national average of 2,110 incidents per 100,000 residents.
Toms River, situated in the eastern section of Ocean County, is both the county seat and the second most populous municipality, following Lakewood Township. This area is renowned for its picturesque waterfronts along the Toms River and Barnegat Bay, as well as its historic downtown district.
Nonetheless, it’s also famous for having a higher crime rate compared to other parts of Ocean County. As per the FBI Uniform Crime Report from 2019, Toms River recorded a violent crime rate of 163 per 1000 residents, which is below the national average but surpasses Ocean County’s average of 129 per 1000 residents.
Property crime rates were similarly elevated, with 1,833 incidents per 1000 residents, contrasting with the national average of 2,110 per 1000 residents. In recent times, Toms River has seen a surge in crime and violence, particularly linked to issues like drug abuse, opioid addiction, and overdose deaths.
Berkeley, situated in the southern region of Ocean County, is the third-largest township in the area, spanning 55.92 square miles. It houses retirement communities like Holiday City and Silver Ridge, but it’s noteworthy for harboring both tranquil retiree spots and some of Ocean County’s most perilous neighborhoods, marked by elevated crime and violence levels.
Based on the FBI Uniform Crime Report data, Berkeley registered a violent crime rate of 155 per 1000 residents in 2019. Although this rate was below the national average, it exceeded Ocean County’s average of 129 per 1000 residents. The predominant forms of violent crimes included aggravated assault, robbery, and rape. The property crime rate was similarly elevated at 1,696 per 1000 residents, in contrast to the national average of 2,110 per 1000 residents.
Brick, situated in the northern region of Ocean County, is a township recognized for its strong community, reasonable taxes, and top-notch educational institutions. It stands as the third most populous locality within the county, trailing behind Lakewood Township and Toms River Township.
Nonetheless, Brick also bears a reputation for having a relatively elevated crime rate when contrasted with other sections of Ocean County. As indicated by the FBI Uniform Crime Report from 2019, Brick witnessed a violent crime rate of 152 for every 1000 residents. While this figure was lower than the national average, it exceeded Ocean County’s mean of 129 for every 1000 residents.
Additionally, the incidence of property crimes was notable, at 1,681 for every 1000 residents. This figure was in comparison to the national average of 2,110 for every 1000 residents.
Ocean County presents a rich and dynamic environment, providing a variety of attractions and chances for both its inhabitants and guests. Nevertheless, certain areas within the county are inclined towards higher crime and violence rates compared to others, potentially endangering the security and welfare of residents and tourists.
Seaside Heights, Lakewood, Toms River, Berkeley, and Brick are such neighborhoods that exhibit elevated levels of both violent and property-related offenses, particularly linked to drug misuse, opioid dependency, and fatal overdoses. Through collaborative efforts, the community can collectively contribute to transforming Ocean County into a more secure and harmonious destination for all.