safest for all crime
63rd precinct / population 108,646
Flatlands is one of Brooklyn's lesser-known neighborhoods — and residents say that's how they like it. The neighborhood has no easy subway access, making it more isolated for residents and would-be criminals alike. Its main claim to fame is its access to Gateway National Recreation Area, and some modest homes boast balconies with views over Jamaica Bay.
The 63rd Precinct also includes the Mill Basin and Georgetown sections, which enjoy a small-town feel that is rare anywhere else in the city and especially in busy Brooklyn . Surprisingly then, the precinct ranked only a middling 31st of 69 neighborhoods for per capita crime in DNAinfo.com's Crime & Safety Report, with 123 major crimes per 10,000 residents. One reason could be its low population, compared to those of other precincts, giving major crimes a greater weight than they might have had in more densly populated areas.
Some of the crime in the neighborhood, where basketball star Chris Mullin grew up, doesn't really reflect on the neighborhood at all. Residents sometimes blame crime on the area's proximity to the Belt Parkway, which runs through it. Mirroring citywide crime drops to 2010, the 63rd Precinct has just a quarter of the crimes it had had in 1993. Car theft plummeted 94 percent in those 17 years; and burglaries always a concern in this area of single-family homes, dropped 77 percent in that time.
Burglaries did rise, however, by 13 percent between 2009 and 2010 to 273 incidents, and rapes soared 143 percent between 2008 and 2010, from 10 to 17. But those were rare pieces of bad news for a precinct that saw most categories of crimes continue their long decline. Major overall crime was down 7 percent in 2010, with robbery dropping by nearly 13 percent and felony assault down by 16 percent. There were just two murders in the precinct, down from six in 2009.
Increase in rapes from 2008 to 2010
Decrease in murders from 2009 to 2010
Photo: Sheepshead Bites
The parking lot off the Belt Parkway in Plumb Beach has long been a meeting place for gay men — and sometimes a venue for illicit sex. The cruising spot turned to a death trap for Michael Sandy, 28, in 2006. After meeting Anthony Fortunato, then 20, in a gay chat room, Sandy headed for the parking lot on the night of Oct. 8. Instead of love, he found an ambush. The man he was chatting with came with friends John Fox, 19, Ilya Shurov, 20, and Gary Timmins, 16, who were intent on robbing Sandy. When they attacked him, he tried to escape by running into the moving traffic on the parkway. He was struck, and died on Oct. 13, the day after his 29th birthday. The robbers, seen rifling through the slain man's pockets, were apprehended within 48 hours, thanks to an Internet trail leading to Fox, whose statements implicated the others. All four men were either found guilty of manslaughter or pleaded guilty to lesser charges, and are serving time in prison.
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