safest for all crime


Photo: Tiphanie Colon-Lamontanaro

midtown south/midtown north precincts / population 74,717

Millions of people, from office workers to tourists to support workers, can be found in Midtown on any given day. Yet, only 74,717 people live in the twin precincts that make up this neighborhood, which is bordered by 29th Street to the south, Lexington Avenue to the east, Central Park to the north and Ninth Avenue below 43rd Street to the west, in Midtown South, and the Hudson River between 43rd Street and 59th Street to the west, in Midtown North. The neighborhood overlaps with a portion of Chelsea & Hell's Kitchen.

Where tourists congregate, crime invariably happens, and a lack of a large residential population combined with a high number of transient visitors could explain why Midtown Manhattan is ranked dead last in DNAinfo.com's list of neighborhoods for overall safety: 69th out of 69.

When it comes to per capita criminal activity, Midtown registered 723 major crimes per 10,000. Rapes jumped a disturbing 146 percent in 2010, from 13 attacks in 2009 to 32, and felony assaults rose 14 percent, from 274 to 313. But officials claim that the numbers tell only part of the story.

Rapes have risen citywide, they say, because more women are coming forward rather than keeping the incidents private. They also say that the increase coincides with the growing number of new clubs, bars and restaurants in Midtown, which have boosted the area's popularity among tourists and New Yorkers alike.

In fact, serious crime fell 7 percent in last year in Midtown, continuing a 17-year trend during which crime plunged 80 percent between 1993 and 2010. Burglaries fell by 19 percent and grand larcenies by 7 percent last year alone. Only three murders were committed in 2010, and less than one robbery on average occurred each day. Officials insist that these are amazing figures, considering that the neighborhood is a bustling center of tourism, business and nightlife. But the numbers were not good enough to lift Midtown from its last-place rank.