safest for all crime
114th precinct / population 202,766
Astoria, nestled in the shadow of the Robert F. Kennedy (formerly Triborough) Bridge, has long been home to New York's largest Greek community, but it's also gained a fast-growing Middle Eastern population in recent years, with Egyptian hookah bars joining the European cafes lining the main drag, Steinway Street.
Like other neighborhoods with easy access to Manhattan, Astoria has seen plenty of change, as rising home prices and young professionals searching for reasonable rents have crowded out the working-class old-timers, famously represented in the 1970s TV show "All In The Family."
Total crime has dropped by a healthy 77 percent from 1993 to 2010 in the 114th Precinct, which covers Astoria along with slices of Long Island City and Woodside. Car thefts plummeted 90 percent, robberies 81 percent, and burglaries were down by 79 percent in that period. Continued low rates in 2010 made Astoria the 19th safest neighborhood in DNAinfo.com's Crime & Safety Report, with 100 major crimes per 10,000 residents.
The crime rate may have stopped falling in the precinct, however. Total major crime was down by just 1 percent between 2009 and 2010, the decline dampened in part by a 15 percent spike in car thefts, to 263 from 228, and a 6 percent rise in robberies, to 332 from 313.
Felony assaults were up 5 percent, to 283 from 269, while burglaries ticked up 3 percent, to 482 from 466. Shooting incidents leaped 58 percent, from 12 in 2009 to 19 in 2010, with the number of shooting victims up 77 percent, to 23 from 13. Murders jumped 125 percent, from four to nine, in the same period, a concern in an area where violence has been rare.
On a positive note, reported rapes dropped 27 percent from 2009 to 2010, from 22 to 16, and were down 64 percent in the 17-year period to 2010. Grand larcency declined 14 percent in 2010, to 642 incidents from 745.
Increase in robberies from 2009 to 2010
Drop in total major crimes, 1993 to 2010
Photo: Queens Courier
Third-year marketing student at Manhattan's Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Carmen Saldana (pictured), 23, was found murdered in her bed at her mother's Astoria apartment on July 12, 2009. Her body, lying naked under a comforter, was discovered by her mother when she returned home from cleaning houses in the Hamptons that weekend. The police said that Carmen Saldana had returned to the apartment from a house party in nearby Long Island City and had been strangled. Her cell phone was missing. Investigators later determined that a fellow partygoer had followed her home and murdered her.
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