safest for all crime
68th precinct / population 124,491
For generations, Bay Ridge has earned its reputation as a place where New Yorkers can enjoy the fruits of their labors. Sitting in the shadow of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the neighborhood boasts well-kept apartment buildings and townhouses that sparkle every holiday season with elaborate Christmas-light displays. Serious crime has never been a huge problem on the tree-lined streets, but it's even less so these days.
The neighborhood came in No. 7 in per capita crimes on DNAinfo.com's ranking of 69 neighborhoods, with 73 crimes per 10,000 residents. There was just one murder in 2010 in the 68th Precinct, which covers Bay Ridge, and rape remained steady with six reported incidents in both 2009 and 2010. All major crimes were down by 80 percent in the period 1993 to 2010, outstripping citywide averages. Robberies dropped a remarkable 81 percent, and car theft, a major concern in a community where most families own vehicles, dropped by an eye-popping 92 percent in this period. In most major crime categories, Bay Ridge ranks among the top 10 safest for the entire city and is among the safest neighborhoods in Brooklyn.
Once populated by Italian and Norwegian immigrants, the neighborhood in more recent decades has received an influx of newly prosperous Russian and Middle Eastern families in search of good schools and safe streets. Signs in Arabic and Cyrillic letters now mix with ristorante billboards, but the hard-earned sense of community has never left.
Even as crime has inched up in other Brooklyn neighborhoods, cops have kept it down in Bay Ridge, with the overall crime rate from 2009 to 2010 dropping another 8 percent. Still, felony assaults jumped by 25 percent last year, to 99, while burglaries rose 9 percent, from 219 to 239.
Increase in felony assaults, 2009 to 2010
Drop in car thefts from 1993 to 2010
Chao Xie, 37, was last seen leaving her husband's restaurant supply business on Allen Street, in Manhattan's Chinatown, on July 1, 2009. She never arrived at her Flatlands home. Four days later, her lifeless body was found stashed inside her husband's Lexus SUV, parked on Colonial Road, near Owl's Head Park, in Bay Ridge. She had been beaten to death. Her 21-year-old sister, who lives in China, claimed she had received a call from Chao Xie's cell phone the day after she disappeared. The caller was a man demanding a $50,000 ransom for her safe return. He was never heard from again. Xie had emigrated from China 10 years earlier with her young son and her husband, and had established a successful business. Investigators considered the possibility of an extortion plot, but a concrete motive was never determined, and no one has been charged with her murder.
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