safest for all crime
77th precinct / population 96,309
No other neighborhood in the city saw its overall crime rate rise as much in 2010 as the 77th Precinct, which covers Prospect Heights and Crown Heights. There were 1,366 reported incidents in 2010, compared with 1,164 in 2009, a 17 percent spike. Even worse, that figure might be lower than the real rate. In October 2010, the 77th was probed for allegedly manipulating crime statistics — specifically, downgrading burglaries, robberies and larcenies.
Long-term figures tell a different story, though, for the area that starts where "Brownstone Brooklyn" meets the new Atlantic Yards development off Flatbush Avenue, and stretches along Eastern Parkway. Gentrification began in Prospect Heights in the 1990s and spilled over into Crown Heights during the last decade. From 1993 to 2010, overall crime rates plummeted 79 percent, led by an 87 percent drop in robberies, an 83 percent decline in car thefts and 80 percent fewer burglaries.
Still, major crime in the area is a growing concern again. Prospect Heights and Crown Heights rank 42nd out of 69 neighborhoods for per capita crime in DNAinfo.com's Crime & Safety Report, with 142 incidents per 10,000 residents.
For violent crime alone, the area drops to 52nd. The murder rate here in 2010 was the second worst in the city, rising 54 percent, from 13 to 20. Rapes jumped from 15 to 23, a 53 percent increase. Felony assaults leapt 37 percent, from 220 to 301 and robberies climbed 25 percent, from 237 to 295. Many crime categories also saw increases over the period from 2008 to 2010.
Property crime fared a little better, coming in 34th for that category. Burglaries were up 25 percent in 2010, from 253 to 317; grand larceny remained steady, with a 1 percent drop. Car thefts fell 10 percent over the two-year period from 2008, from 143 to 129. As for the future of the neighborhood, the statistics for 2011 so far don't look promising, and there was a rash of rapes in the 77th in June.
Increase in murder rate from 2009 to 2010
Total crime reduction from 1993 to 2010
Photo: Paul Martinka
Chanel Petro-Nixon, 16, an honor student at Boys and Girls High School, left her home on Fulton Street, on the border of Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant, on Father's Day, June 18, 2006, telling her family that she was going to a nearby Applebee's restaurant to apply for a job. She never made it to the restaurant. Four days later, Petro-Nixon's body was found stuffed in a trash bag on Kingston Avenue, near the Brooklyn Children's Museum. She had been strangled. Missing were the pair of distinct pink-and-white Nike Air Jordan Retro 14 sneakers that she had been wearing when she left home. Cops appealed to the public for help, but to this day, the police continue to hunt for her killer.
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