safest for all crime
19th/22nd precincts / population 208,259
The Upper East Side, home to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, lined with luxury shopping corridors and considered New York's wealthiest neighborhood, doesn't have much to worry about in terms of crime. Out of 69 neighborhoods surveyed by DNAinfo.com, the Upper East Side came in as the 14th safest citywide for per capita crime and was the safest in Manhattan. In the 17 years to 2010, major crime has dropped 84 percent in the 19th Precinct. Even in Central Park, the 22nd Precinct, crime has fallen.
Murders in the Upper East Side were down 80 percent in that period, rapes 47 percent, and robberies a stunning 90 percent. For violent crime in 2010, the Upper East Side ranks third safest in the city. But if there is any one major concern that remains on the Upper East Side, it is property crime, perhaps because there are so many homes and businesses worth stealing from. When it comes to property crime — burglaries, grand larcenies and car thefts — the neighborhood's ranking drops to 40th.
For grand larcenies — the theft of anything worth more than $1,000 — the Upper East Side's ranking plummets to 57th of 69. Despite its poorer showing compared with other neighborhoods in Manhattan and around the city, the Upper East Side has seen its property crime rate drop steeply over the years. From 1993 to 2010, car thefts in the 19th Precinct were down 97 percent, grand larceny 66 percent and burglary 92 percent.
Recently, however, assaults and rapes have increased in the Upper East Side. Felony assaults were up by 41 percent in 2010, to 96. Reported rapes jumped by 60 percent, from 10 in 2009 to 16 in 2010. Those attacks were mainly "acquaintance rapes," situations in which women were sexually assaulted after meeting someone at a bar or getting into a dispute at home, police said. In Central Park, assaults remained steady, at six, but grand larceny rose 58 percent in 2010 to 63, and the number of rapes soared from zero to seven.
Increase in felony assaults, 2009 to 2010
Drop in burglaries, 2009 to 2010
Photo: Getty/NY Daily News Archive
Tall and handsome, Robert Chambers, 18, had the look of a wealthy son of the city, but without the bank account to match. He was raised by his mother, an Irish immigrant who worked as a nurse to send him to some of the city's most exclusive schools, including The Browning School, Saint David's School and York Prep. He also attended Choate, in Wallingford, Conn. Despite his upscale environment, Chambers struggled with poor grades, drug abuse and other antisocial behavior.
On Aug. 26, 1986, Chambers, having just broken up with his girlfriend, was drinking at Dorrian's Red Hand, on 84th Street and Second Avenue, a place where underage teens could — and did — drink with abandon. Also drinking at the bar was Jennifer Levin, a dark-haired 17-year-old girl from Long Island who loved to hit Manhattan's hot spots. Chambers took Levin to Central Park to have sex. He claimed she got rough, tying him up and hurting him. The bruises on her neck and her death by strangulation told another story, one that was covered in painstaking detail by the tabloids and earned the moniker the "Preppy Murder."
With the jury deadlocked for nine days, Chambers pleaded down to a lesser manslaughter charge. He was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison and still struggled with addiction after his release from prison.
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