safest for all crime
111th precinct / population 116,431
Nestled in northeastern Queens, the 111th Precinct, including Bayside, Douglaston and Little Neck, could easily be mistaken for suburbia. Composed of waterfront enclaves on Little Neck Bay that feature single-family homes and garden apartments, the idyllic area, with its golf courses, marinas and parks, has enjoyed a remarkably low crime rate over the years and is one of the borough's most expensive places to live.
Even the small number of violent crimes has decreased dramatically during the past two decades in these communities, which in the early 20th century were gathering places for Hollywood celebrities and home to actors Rudolph Valentino, Norma Talmadge and W.C. Fields. Robberies were down 76 percent and felony assaults dropped 60 percent over the 17 years from 1993 to 2010. Murders are virtually nonexistent in the precinct. The area of Bayside, Douglaston and Little Neck is one of four neighborhoods in the city with no murders in 2010, and just one in 2009.
Although rape was down by 60 percent in the 17 years to 2010, there has been an increase in recent years, including a 500 percent jump between 2008 and 2010, from one to six incidents. Still, the precinct had among the fewest reported rapes per capita, with six in total, making the Bayside area the eighth safest of 69 neighborhoods for that crime in 2010. Like many suburban communities, Bayside, Douglaston and Little Neck are prone to burglaries. While the number of break-ins declined 74 percent over the 17 years to 2010, there was a 4 percent uptick, to 252 incidents, in 2010.
Rise in felony assaults, 2009 to 2010
Drop in car thefts from 1993 to 2010
In a 1908 case that captivated the city, a ship captain and socialite, Peter Hains Jr., 36, learned that his young wife, Claudia, was having an affair with one of his closest friends, William Annis, advertising manager for "The Burr McIntoch Monthly", an arts and photography magazine with images of celebrities and nature. On August 15 of that year, the day of the annual regatta at the Bayside Yacht Club, Hains, with the aid of his brother, Thorton Jenkins Hains — a successful novelist and contributor to "Harper's Magazine" — shot and killed Annis in front of hundreds of society couples as the magazine manager climbed out of his boat.
Peter Hains Jr. pleaded not guilty, claiming "Dementia Americana," an insanity plea said to "derange American husbands just long enough for them to take revenge upon their wives' lovers." Two years prior, Harry Thaw successfully used this defense in his trial for the Flatiron murder of prominent architect Stanford White. Thornton Hains, who claimed folie à deux, or shared madness, was acquitted. Peter Hains was found guilty and sentenced to eight years in prison for manslaughter. His father, Gen. Peter Conover Hains, worked hard for a pardon, getting 10 of the 11 jurors to sign a petition saying they believed Peter Hains had been punished sufficiently. The pardon was granted, and in October 1911, Peter Hains walked out of Sing Sing prison a free man.
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