safest for all crime

hunts point

41st precinct / population 52,246

This largely industrial neighborhood, on a peninsula in the southern Bronx, has struggled for years with its reputation for prostitution. The city has pumped money and resources into the area and made it the new site of the Fulton Fish Market on Nov. 14, 2005. With that, Hunts Point's fortunes — and crime rate — have improved on several counts.

In the 41st Precinct, which covers Hunts Point, total crime has fallen 62 percent in the 17 years to 2010, including an 88 percent drop in murders, an 82 percent reduction in car thefts and an 80 percent decline in burglaries. Perhaps most notably, reported rapes have declined by 38 percent over that period, though arrests on rape charges have increased more than fivefold.

Still, Hunts Point came in 67th out of 69 neighborhoods in DNAinfo.com's Crime & Safety Report, and landed dead last for violent crimes, with 135 incidents per 10,000 residents. Its 2010 rankings for individual crimes were mostly marginally better — a 50th place rank for car thefts was its best category.

Rapes continue to be a significant problem in the 41st Precinct. They were up in the nine years since 2001, and jumped by 67 percent from 2009 to 2010, to 20 incidents. Misdemeanor sex crimes also increased by 26 percent in 2010, to 34.

Robberies also spiked by 26 percent in 2010, to 283. These increases were large enough to drive the overall crime rate up by 2 percent in 2010 despite decreases in every other category of major crime: murders, felony assaults, burglaries, grand larcenies and car thefts.

Local residents argue against the negative portrayals of their neighborhood wherever they see them. But other challenges loom. Residents have had to unite to fight attempts to open strip clubs in the area. They're also struggling to keep the relatively new fish market from moving to New Jersey, and may end up getting stuck with a new garbage transfer station.

Still, boosters insist that the neighborhood's seedy image will soon be history.