safest for all crime
44th precinct / population 146,441
These three neighborhoods, along with many parts of the South Bronx, were among the poorest parts of America for many years and had astronomical crime rates to match. But, as in much of The Bronx, crime here has plummeted with government urban renewal projects and police crackdowns. In the 44th Precinct, which covers High Bridge, Concourse Village and Mount Eden — an area that includes Yankee Stadium — serious crime plunged by 74 percent in the 17 years up to 2010. Murders and shootings dropped by nearly 80 percent during that period, while burglaries fell 87 percent and car thefts by 84 percent. Those drops have helped improve the neighborhood's image, spurring redevelopment and drawing people to the area.
Today, there's the Gateway Center mall, near the new Yankee Stadium. There are the renovated Art Deco buildings on the Grand Concourse. And in Mount Eden, residents have become active in pushing for their neighborhood's turnaround, lobbying the city for park improvements and better policing.
But in 2010, several violent crime categories rose, and High Bridge ended the year in 56th place for violent crimes in DNAinfo.com's Crime & Safety Report ranking. Murders rose by 27 percent over 2009, to 14 incidents from 11. Robberies spiked 26 percent, to 515 from 408. Rapes ticked up by 3 percent, to 33 from 32.
Despite these increases, by the end of 2010 the overall crime rate posted a 3 percent decline, thanks to a 21 percent drop in grand larcenies, to 396 from 501, and a 10 percent drop in burglaries, to 276 from 308. Shootings, which are not included in the overall crime rate, declined by 35 percent, to 34 instances from 52; and misdemeanor sex crimes fell by 26 percent, to 45 from 61. Focus on just property crimes, and High Bridge skyrockets to 16th safest out of 69 neighborhoods.
The police appear to be taking the latest trends very seriously. In 2010, the 44th Precinct led the city, with nearly 16,000 arrests.
Increase in murder rate from 2009 to 2010
Drop in burglaries from 1993 to 2010
On August 30, 1990, Sean Healy, 30, walked to a bodega on East 163rd Street, a block from the county courthouse where he worked as a prosecutor, to pick up donuts to share with colleagues at the Bronx District Attorney's Office. Drug dealer Jose Diaz opened fire with an Uzi sub-machine gun, raking the shop with gunfire, hitting Healy in the back and killing him. It was later revealed Diaz's target was a rival dealer and his motive was a turf war. Healy, who had once traveled to Calcutta to work with Mother Theresa and had served in the United States Navy, was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Diaz was convicted of the murder and sentenced to 19 years to life in prison. In September, 2009, Diaz was approved for parole but, following an outcry, the board's decision was rescinded and Diaz remained imprisoned.
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