safest for all crime
75th precinct / population 183,328
East New York has been to hell — and it doesn't want to go back. Once known as one of New York's worst killing fields, the rough Brooklyn neighborhood on the border with Queens has fought its way back from the brink over the past two decades. Crime declined 70 percent from 1993 to 2010, with murders dropping to 33 incidents, representing a 74 percent decline for that category. East New York comes in a relatively respectable 53rd in per capita crime out of 69 New York City neighborhoods in DNAinfo.com's Crime & Safety Report.
Unfortunately, major crimes are on the rise again in this struggling area, where nearly half the residents live in poverty. Those 33 murders in the neighborhood's 75th Precinct represent a 38 percent spike over 2009, and are nearly double the total number of killings since 2008. For that crime category, East New York ranks 66th, with almost two murders per 10,000 residents. Even though felony assaults dropped 7 percent in 2010, to 746, robberies went up 12 percent and rapes spiked by 22 percent, helping to raise the overall crime rate by 2 percent that year.
Even though burglaries were up 5 percent from 2009 to 2010, to 471, grand larceny remained stable and car thefts declined more than 4 percent, to 322.
It's still a far cry from the crack-filled late 1980s and early 90s, when East New York won a citywide reputation for violence and death. As in other hard-hit city neighborhoods, things have changed dramatically for the better.
New townhouses have sprung up on empty lots, there are far fewer boarded-up shops on main streets such as Atlantic Avenue, and middle-class families have moved into the sprawling Spring Creek Towers (formerly Starrett City apartment complex). Residents say that these trends will help to put a lid on the recent increases in crime, before it spins back out of control.
Increase in murders, 2008 to 2010
Drop in felony assaults, 2009 to 2010
Even in New York's most brutal decade, the 1984 Palm Sunday Massacre stands out for its depravity. A cocaine buyer named Christopher Thomas burst into his dealer's apartment in East New York and killed 10 people on April 15. This incident was the worst single mass murder in city history before 9/11. There were eight children among the dead, along with the dealer's pregnant girlfriend.
During the trial, detectives at the 75th Precinct recalled the faces of the murdered children, frozen in horror. Thomas was sentenced to 83 years in prison.
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