safest for all crime
66th precinct / population 191,382
Located in the center of Brooklyn, Kensington continues to attract a growing number of professionals and young families who — alongside newcomers from Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Mexico, and the older established Italian and Irish families — have helped made the area one of the city's most diverse neighborhoods.
In Borough Park, to the west, the average family in the predominantly Hasidic Jewish neighborhood has more than six children, putting home life at the center of almost everything. Outsiders sometimes complain that they feel unwelcome in the insular Brooklyn neighborhood, but it's hard to argue with the statistics.
Kensington and Borough Park are the safest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and they rank No. 3 in the city overall for per capita crime in DNAinfo.com's Crime & Safety Report, with just 66 major crimes per 10,000 residents. Covered by the 66th Precinct, the area has never had a serious crime problem, but its already low rates nevertheless dropped 76 percent in the 17 years to 2010, led by a 93 percent plunge in car thefts, to 135 from some 1,825 in 1993. Burglaries fell by 77 percent, to 383 in 2010; robberies were down by 76 percent, to 178.
In recent years, the crime rate has plunged even further, falling 7 percent from 2009 to 2010, as cops and Jewish neighborhood patrols, named "Shomrim," kept a close eye on the streets.
The 66th Precinct also is one of the few areas in the city with zero murders in 2010, a vast improvement compared with the eight on the books in 2009. Rapes dropped from 14 to 11, a 21 percent decrease, although that figure is up 10 percent compared to 2008. Still, the area ranks 9th safest in the city for that crime.
For property crimes, Kensington and Borough Park rank 4th overall and top in Brooklyn. Although robberies in the area were down 19 percent from 2008 to 2010, the decline leveled off from 2009, falling just 1 percent, to 178. The statistic to keep an eye on is felony assault, which was up 10 percent 2008 to 2010, to 170 reports. Misdemeanor sex crimes ticked up 11 percent in 2010. Also a concern: gangs. Gang-related arrests jumped 500 percent from 2008 to 2010, to 36.
Increase in felony assaults, 2008 to 2010
Drop in robberies from 2008 to 2010
The relative tranquility of the 2010 safest neighborhood in Brooklyn was shattered by the brutal murder of Leiby Kletzky, 8, which was one of the most shocking and disturbing killings in recent memory. Leiby was walking part of the way home for the first time on July 11, 2011, from the Nechmod Day Camp in Borough Park when he got lost. He approached a man and asked him for directions to the location where he was supposed to meet his mother. Leiby never got there. The man, who police identified as Levi Aron, 35, offered to drive Leiby to his mother, but instead took the boy to a wedding in Rockland County.
Aron allegedly then kept Leiby in his Kensington apartment for two days before he saw the signs that had been posted all over the neighborhood begging for information about the boy's location and panicked, police said. Aron is accused of suffocating Leiby with a towel and then dismembering his body. Scratch marks on Aron's arm showed that Leiby fought back, police said.
Aron pleaded not guilty to murder and kidnapping charges. He was ordered held without bail and, at the time of publication, was undergoing psychological examinations.
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