safest for all crime
110th precinct / population 172,634
Few places tell the story of a changing New York as well as Corona, Queens. Drawn by the easy access to Manhattan on the No. 7 subway train, thousands of new immigrants from Mexico, South America and South Asia have poured into the neighborhood.
Its elementary schools are bursting at the seams, with triple-digit waiting lists and kids attending classes in trailers and converted broom closets. New shops and cafes featuring food from Colombia, Ecuador and Central America open every month along the main drag, busy Roosevelt Avenue.
The newcomers have brought constant change, but no significant increase in crime. Quite the opposite in fact: trouble has mostly continued its steep decline. Neighborhood Watch groups have sprung up on blocks where new immigrants protect their newly acquired middle-class homes and lifestyles.
The 110th Precinct, which includes Corona and neighboring Elmhurst, ranks 15th in per capita crime in DNAinfo.com's Crime & Safety Report, with just 95 major crimes per 10,000 residents. Crime declined by nearly 4 percent in 2010, continuing the 79 percent drop in the 17 years since 1993.
There were only four murders in the precinct in 2010, on top of an impressive 86 percent decline in that category since the early 90s, when drug dealing was common in the area. Robberies rose by 8 percent, to 360, and felony assaults by 5 percent, to 255, in 2010, a potential sign of additional pressures on the area related to gang activity, which has been on the rise despite the overall crime drop.
Still, shootings declined from 10 to five from 2009 to 2010. Property crimes were down as well, with grand larceny dropping 12 percent, burglaries down 7 percent, and auto thefts dipping just below 1 percent.
Robbery increase from 2009 to 2010
Drop in burglaries from 2001 to 2010
Photo: S.J. Pettersson
Carlos Flores, 40, was taking a stroll inside Flushing Meadows Corona Park (pictured) when he was attacked by a machete-wielding Yovani Rivera, 19, on Dec. 4, 2006. Rivera, who had been on a robbery spree in the park, hit the man in the head with a machete, then took $20 and a MetroCard before dumping the body in a park pond. Rivera was arrested weeks later and charged with Flores's murder as well as with a savage attack on Christmas Day 2006. In September 2007, Rivera was sentenced to life in prison.
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