safest for all crime

sheepshead bay

Photo: Tiphanie Colon-Lamontanaro

61st precinct / population 159,645

Sheepshead Bay has long prided itself on being the place where Brooklyn first meets the water. Before you get to the crowded beaches of Coney Island & Brighton Beach, there are the calmer waters of Jamaica Bay, which first drew people to this section of south Brooklyn. As many have been lured there by the relatively easy subway access to Manhattan, the neighborhood has lost its backwater feel in recent years with new condos sprouting up and even mini-McMansions rising incongruously in spots.

It's also grown much more diverse over the years, with many new immigrants and the fourth-largest Chinatown in the city (after lower Manhattan, Flushing and Sunset Park). The area is covered by the 61st Precinct, which stretches from Midwood's southern border to the affluent Manhattan Beach section, on the Atlantic Ocean.

The precinct placed near the top in almost every major category in DNAinfo.com's Crime & Safety Report, with just 69 major crimes per 10,000 residents in 2010, securing the 5th safest spot overall for per capita crime. Despite a few high-profile incidents, the crime rate continued to drop steadily since 1993.

Total crime fell by a healthy 15 percent between 2009 and 2010, paced by a 20 percent drop in robberies, a 20 percent drop in burglaries and a 21 percent dip in felony assaults. Car theft did jump 15 percent, leaving Sheepshead Bay at the No. 32 spot for that category. Still, car theft was down by 94 percent from 1993 to 2010, quite an achievement given the neighborhood's easy access to the Belt Parkway, which could attract thieves looking for a quick getaway.