safest for all crime
70th precinct / population 160,664
More than most Brooklyn neighborhoods, the area covered by the 70th Precinct has a little bit of everything, from the streets of Flatbush , home to many Caribbean immigrants, to the tree-lined medians and sprawling Victorian mansions of Ditmas Park, which boasts a culinary hotspot on Cortelyou Road. Found right smack in the middle of the borough, it also includes the middle-class apartment houses of Midwood, home to a large Orthodox Jewish population, and Brooklyn College. The neighborhood borders Kensington, to the west, and attracts just as many newcomers, but it isn't nearly as safe, as the 70th Precinct includes a sliver of Flatbush to the east.
This diverse neighborhood came in 30th out of the 69 neighborhoods for per capita crime in DNAinfo.com's Crime & Safety Report, with 123 major crimes per 10,000 residents. Like the rest of the city, the neighborhood is much safer than it once was. Crime was down 80 percent in the 70th Precinct from 1993 to 2010, with robberies dropping 82 percent and burglaries falling by 89 percent. Testifying to the newfound calm, the precinct commander boasted that his cops didn't fire their guns once in 2010.
Still, though overall crime dropped 5 percent in 2010, violent crimes jumped, with reported rapes in the 70th rocketing 118 percent, from 11 in 2009 to 24. Robberies rose by 5 percent and felony assaults by 7 percent. Narcotics busts, up 18 percent last year to 547, were one of the few crimes whose rate rose (18 percent) over the period from 1993 to 2010.
The neighborhood has had its fair share of headline-grabbing crimes in recent years, too. Police Officer Dillon Stewart was shot and killed after chasing a suspect from an earlier murder down Church Avenue in 2005. Last August, a well-liked clerk at a kosher liquor store in Midwood was gunned down during a robbery. Even more notorious is the death of Mark Fisher, a 19-year-old Fairfield University student who was robbed, shot and left for dead on Oct. 12, 2003 on a usually quiet corner in Ditmas Park.
Increase in reported rapes, 2009 to 2010
Decrease in buglaries from 1993 to 2010
Photo: Getty/NY Daily News Archive
One of the most stunning crimes to happen in New York over the past 20 years was committed by cops from the 70th Precinct. Officers had picked up Abner Louima (pictured, left), a soft-spoken Haitian immigrant, while investigating a street fight outside a Flatbush nightclub in August 1997.
What happened next would horrify the city for years to come. Angry cops took Louima to the stationhouse bathroom and sodomized him with a broomstick. Days later, Louima told his story from his hospital bed. The police officers eventually faced justice for their brutality. Louima accepted a settlement from the city, relocated to Florida and did his best to move on from the incident.
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