safest for all crime
50th precinct / population 101,720
Riverdale, the northwestern section of the Bronx, just above the Harlem River, is considered the borough's most affluent neighborhood — and along with adjoining areas, is its safest. It's listed at 13th in DNAinfo.com's ranking of the city's 69 safest neighborhoods.
Nearby Marble Hill, though physically part of the Bronx, is politically part of Manhattan, thanks to its former attachment to Manhattan Island before the rerouting of the Harlem River in the 1890s. Fieldston, wedged between Kingsbridge and Riverdale, is dominated by large homes that appear more like Westchester than the Bronx. Insular Spuyten Duyvil juts out from the borough where the Harlem River and Hudson River meet.
The crime rate has plummeted in this area across all categories, and by 78 percent overall, in the 17 years to 2010. Car thefts are down an astonishing 92 percent during that time; burglaries declined 86 percent, robberies 73 percent.
But, as 2010 crime stastistics illustrate, Riverdale and its neighbors in the 50th Precinct remain vulnerable to the small upticks in violent crime that have tarnished many areas of the city recently.
Murders, while still rare, spiked sharply from 2009 to 2010, increasing from one to five. Rape remained steady, at eight, but robberies jumped 25 percent in 2010, to 166 incidents from 133, and felony assaults rose 5 percent, to 118 from 112. Police say most of the current crime problems are in the Marble Hill and Kingsbridge sections.
Overall, crime dropped 5 percent from 2009 to 2010, led by declines in property crimes, with auto thefts down 31 percent, burglaries off by 13 percent and grand larceny complaints dipping 3 percent. Shootings remained low at six for both 2009 and 2010 and narcotic arrests were down 40 percent from 2008 to 2010.
Increase in murders from 2009 to 2010
Reduction in total crimes, 1993 to 2010
Photo: Getty/NY Daily News Archive
On May 20, 2009, the FBI and the NYPD arrested four men on charges of plotting to blow up two Riverdale synagogues and shoot down a plane in Newburgh, N.Y. They were targets of a year-long sting operation in which undercover agents posed as Pakistani militants and offered to supply them with bombs that were actually fake. The four men — Onta Williams (pictured, center), Laguerre Payen, James Cromitie and David Williams IV — intended to detonate the "bombs" outside Riverdale Temple and Riverdale Jewish Center. They were convicted in 2010, but their lawyers appealed, arguing that the men were lured into the plot by a government informant. A judge upheld the verdicts but chided investigators for using methods that bordered on entrapment.
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