UPPER EAST SIDE — The Upper East Side can boast of being home to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, multiple luxury shopping corridors some of New York's wealthiest residents — and now it can lay claim to being Manhattan's safest neighborhood.
The neighborhood ranks as the safest in Manhattan for total crime and the 14th safest in the city out of all 69 neighborhoods surveyed in DNAinfo.com’s new "Crime & Safety Report."
The ranking was driven by the Upper East Side’s extremely low rate of violent crime, making it the third safest across the five boroughs in that category.
However, the area fell to the bottom half of the city’s 69 neighborhoods — coming in 40th safest — for its rate of property crime, driven almost completely by a large amount of grand larcenies.
As part of DNAinfo.com's comprehensive citywide analysis of per capita crime — using unprecedented methodology that combines NYPD crime figures and 2010 U.S. census data — the report revealed both predictable and surprising findings for the Upper East Side.
For instance, the neighborhood covered by the 19th Precinct and Central Park’s 22nd Precinct had some of the lowest rates of murder (fifth overall citywide), felony assaults (third overall), robberies (fifth overall), auto thefts (fourth overall) and shooting incidents (seventh overall).
However, current statistics show that violent crime, including assaults and rapes, are on the upswing. Felony assaults were up by 41 percent in 2010, while reported rapes jumped by 60 percent, from 10 in 2009 to 16 in 2010.
In Central Park, the number of reported rapes soared — from zero in 2009 to seven in 2010 — while grand larcenies rose 58 percent and assaults remained steady.
And when it comes to property crime — burglaries, grand larcenies and auto thefts — the Upper East Side plummeted in the rankings due to its high rate of grand larceny incidents, or thefts of anything worth more than $1,000. In that category, the neighborhood ranked almost to the bottom of the list, coming in 57th out of 69 neighborhoods.
The area’s property-crime rate has fallen steeply through the years, with car thefts down 97 percent since 1993, burglaries down 92 percent and grand larcenies down 66 percent.