safest for all crime
46th precinct / population 128,200
These neighborhoods embody the best and worst of the Bronx: violence-torn streets and a leafy college campus. But even the most dangerous parts of this area have seen historic drops in crime, infusing it with a long-needed sense of hope.
Total crime in the 46th Precinct, which covers Morris Heights, Mount Hope, Fordham and Rose Hill, declined 80 percent in the 17 years from 1993 to 2010. Murder was down by 81 percent, from 64 to 12 instances in 2010, during this period, and robberies dropped by 80 percent, to 437 incidents from 2,132. Burglaries have plunged by an astounding 91 percent, to 208 from 2,364.
The dichotomy of the neighborhood is also reflected in its 2010 crime rankings . For property crimes, the area ranks sixth safest in the city, yet comes in a lowly 53rd in the rankings of violent crimes (murder, rape, felony assault and robbery) as a whole. Morris Heights and Mount Hope have some of the meanest reputations in the borough, and have been plagued by drugs and gangs, leading to a 24 percent increase in shooting incidents in 2010 from 2009, to 47 from 38.
Robberies were up 10 percent, to 437 from 396; and Morris Heights was where a group of gang members in 2010 allegedly tortured three men they believed to be gay.
Still, the area's overall major crime rate was down 3 percent from 2009 to 2010, led by a 15 percent drop in grand larcenies to 296 from 349; a 6 percent drop in car thefts, to 131 from 139; and a 5 percent fall in felony assaults, to 409 from 432. Murders and rapes each dropped by one incident, and burglaries dipped 3 percent, from 215 to 208. Longtime residents credit the recent renovation of Roberto Clemente State Park as well as new housing developments. Fordham and Rose Hill, which boast Fordham University and the Fordham Road commercial strip, are considerably more calm.
Rise in shooting incidents, 2009 to 2010
Drop in murders from 1993 to 2010
Photo: Getty/NY Daily News Archive
On Oct. 29, 1984, six NYPD officers were called to a Morris Heights apartment to help Housing Authority employees evict a tenant for failing to pay rent. The tenant, Eleanor Bumpurs, 66, had a history of mental instability and lived alone. When she refused to leave, the officers broke into the apartment to force her out. She met them holding a 10-inch kitchen knife, and after she knocked one policeman down, Officer Stephen Sullivan killed her with two blasts from a shotgun. Her death became a symbol, in the mind of the broader community, for the police's strong-arm tactics when interacting with racial minorities. Sullivan was acquitted, but the Bumpurs case led to changes in the way the police handle emotionally disturbed people. The city later paid her family $200,000 to settle a lawsuit.
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