safest for all crime
78th precinct / population 61,099
With its mommy blogs, stroller gridlock and bike-lane wars, Park Slope is practically a national poster child for gentrification. The local public school is one of the best in the city, if you can beg, borrow or cheat to get Junior in. "New York Magazine" voted it the most livable neighborhood in New York in a major survey in April 2010.
Yet, this premier neighborhood has a dirty little secret. There is crime in Park Slope. In addition, the western part of the 78th Precinct, which covers Park Slope, includes Gowanus, an industrial area that only recently began to drawn artists and new clubs, bars and restaurants. Even so, the Environmental Protection Agency ruled it a Superfund site in May 2010, essentially putting a halt to new development.
The neighborhood ranks a so-so 41st on DNAinfo.com's Crime & Safety Report for New York's 69 neighborhoods for per capita crime, with 138 major crimes per 10,000 residents. That puts it smack between East Flatbush and Prospect Heights & Crown Heights in the rankings, neighborhoods with decidedly worse reputations.
Violent Crime has plummeted over the years. Old-timers in Park Slope can recall when knife fights were commonplace on Fifth and Seventh avenues, instead of feuds over bikes or oversized strollers. Crime is down 76 percent from 1993 to 2010, led by an 86 percent drop in murders, 85 percent drop in robberies and an 83 percent plunge in felony assaults.
There was just one murder in 2009 and one in 2010, ranking the neighborhood 16th safest for violent crime, with 29 instances per 10,000 residents.
Robberies dropped 5 percent from 2009 to 2010, although residents complained of a spree of muggings on the neighborhood's tree-lined blocks.
Increase in car thefts from 2008 to 2010
Drop in car thefts since 1993
Photo: Getty/NY Daily News Archive
On July 30, 1997, patrol cops cruising along Fourth Avenue in Park Slope were stopped by a frantic man who spoke only broken English. He signaled with his arms, throwing them wide open, which the officers interpreted as an indication of an explosion. Later the Egyptian immigrant explained to a police translator that his neighbors were planning to set off bombs during rush hour inside packed subway trains. At around 5 a.m. the next day, neighboring buildings were evacuated and the subway re-routed, and the ground floor apartment at 248 Fourth Ave., near President Street, was raided by the police. As they burst into a rear bedroom, Lafi Khalil, 22, reached for a bomb detonator. He was shot five times, but lived. His roommate, Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer (pictured), 23, was shot twice when he tried to take an officer's gun. Police found five nail-studded bombs inside the apartment. Authorities later revealed the men had planned to detonate the devices on subway trains in Brooklyn during rush hour. Mezer was convicted of the bomb plot and sentenced to life plus 30 years in prison. Kalil was acquitted of bomb charges and convicted of immigration violations and sentenced to three years in prison and later deported to the Palestinian Territories.
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