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Over 200 vehicles impounded in Camden City this year
(CAMDEN) – Senator Donald Norcross (D-Camden/Gloucester) touted his vehicle impound measure, which was signed into law one year ago, as another tool in police departments’ fight against crime. The measure allows police to impound motor vehicles used in the transport of illegal guns or drugs, or in the commission of prostitution.
“Weapons trafficking, drug trade, and prostitution are not city problems, they’re regional ones,” said Senator Norcross. “Crimes of this nature are devastating to communities, but perpetrators often live far from where they carry out their crimes. We’re not interested in that sort of visitor to our city.”
Chief Scott Thomson of the Camden County Metro Division lauded the measure as a way to cut off the main source of revenue for Camden’s drug markets.
“Over the last year we have been fortunate to leverage the latest law enforcement tool to address the life blood of our open air drug markets, the suburban buyers,” Chief Scott Thomson said. “Having the power to impound their vehicles sends a strong message to anyone thinking of driving into the city to solicit drugs or prostitutes: be prepared to walk home! You will no longer degrade the quality of life of our residents with impunity.”
Since the law’s enactment, the Camden County Metro Police Department has taken 240 vehicles used in the commission of drug trade, gun trafficking and prostitution off the street. Notably, police arrested and impounded the vehicles of seven individuals who were soliciting prostitutes in the city earlier this year. Of the seven, five live outside the city.
“By removing vehicles to crime, we can help curb instances of crime,” sad Senator Norcross. “We are systematically shutting down offenders’ access and avenues to engaging in illegal activity. Without a ready demand, black market trades die out.”
Officials have estimated that 80 to 90% of illegal activity in Camden City is fueled by perpetrators living in the surrounding areas driving into the city. That figure has held up in a series of drug market raids performed by the Metro Police throughout the year. Shortly after the bill became law in 2013, officers impounded 40 vehicles in an open-air drug market raid that netted 97 perpetrators – 84% of whom were non-Camden residents.