safest for all crime

red hook, carroll gardens & cobble hill

76th precinct / population 43,694

The salty neighborhood of Red Hook, and the tree-lined streets of nearby Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill have changed considerably in recent years. Named the "crack capital of America" by Life magazine in 1988, Red Hook has benefited from New York's rediscovery of its waterfront. It now boasts the tourist-friendly Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. At the bars along Van Brunt Street, you're more likely to find artists and writers than longshoremen.

Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill have long enjoyed a different reputation, as slightly insular Italian-American enclaves where neighbors peer out of their windows to keep an eye on the block. Beginning in the 1990s, young professionals began snapping up real estate, and new restaurants turned Smith and Court Streets into a foodie's delight. These are some of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Brooklyn, where gracious brownstone townhouses are fetching in the millions. Yet safety remains a problem.

Following the overall city trend, major crimes were down 68 percent from 1993 to 2010, particularly rapes (87 percent) and car thefts (85 percent).

In 2010, however, major crimes jumped back a noticeable 5 percent, and the area covered by the 76th Precinct ranks only a middling 37th out of 69 neighborhoods for per capita crime in DNAinfo.com's Crime & Safety Report. Last year's crime uptick was led by a 32 percent spike in robberies, too, by 86 percent. Grand larceny has remained a problem over the years, down only 3 percent from 1993 to 2010 and up 50 percent between 2001 and 2010.

On a positive note, burglaries were down 8 percent from 2009 to 2010, and murders dropped 60 percent between 2008 and 2010. Also, the neighborhood ranks sixth safest for rape in DNAinfo.com's Report.