safest for all crime
113th precinct / population 120,132
Crime is up across the board in South Jamaica and St. Albans, and the murder rate is among the worst in the city. After years of steep drops, virtually every category of crime increased in 2010 in the 113th Precinct, which also covers slices of Baisley Pond Park and Laurelton.
It's a disturbing change of pace for these working-class neighborhoods, which at one time were home to James Brown, Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane and Miles Davis. In recent years, the neighborhood has produced several rap and hip-hop artists, including 50 Cent, Lost Boyz, A Tribe Called Quest and Nicki Minaj.
In the 1980s and early 90s, St. Albans and South Jamaica were ravaged by drug gangs and gun violence and were centers of the city's crack epidemic. Residents thought they had all but won the battle against violent crime after the murder of Officer Edward Byrne led to a powerful effort to crush drug violence in the city, and the 113th Precinct enjoyed a 76 percent drop in major crime from 1993 to 2010.
But the crime rate jumped 7 percent from 2009 to 2010, placing the neighborhoods at 55th safest for per capita crime in DNAinfo.com's Crime & Safety Report, and in last place for all of Queens, with 178 major crimes per 10,000 residents.
Murder was up by a whopping 58 percent from 2009 to 2010, with 19 killings versus 12, placing it 63rd of 69 for that crime. The murder rate actually has been on the rise since 2001, nearly doubling during those nine years to 2010.
Shooting incidents jumped by 16 percent from 2009, to 50 from 43, and were up 28 percent compared to 2001. Felony assaults rose by 8 percent, to 352 from 327, from 2009 to 2010.
The good news for St. Albans and South Jamaica is that robberies remained steady in 2010, increasing by just one, to 369. Reported rapes dropped 14 percent from 2009 to 2010, from 29 to 25, and were down 31 percent since 2008. Misdemeanor sex crimes dropped 30 percent in 2010, and narcotics arrests dropped 22 percent, to 525 from 674.
Rise in murders from 2009 to 2010
Drop in total crimes from 1993 to 2010
Photo: Paul Lomax
Police Officer John Scarangella was a young cop at the 113th Precinct when he and his partner, Richard Rainey, pulled over a van during a routine traffic stop on April 16, 1981. Nothing could have prepared them for what happened next. The two had barely gotten out of their squad car when the men inside the van opened fire, spraying both cops with more than 30 bullets. Scarangella, who had a young son, died two weeks later. Rainey survived.
Cops eventually arrested two members of the Black Liberation Army terrorist group for the crime. In May 2011, the city renamed the street in front of the 113th Precinct in Scarangella's memory.
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