safest for all crime

middle village

Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth

104th precinct / population 170,190

Like a large diamond in the middle of Queens, the 104th Precinct covers a huge space from just south of Queens Boulevard to the Brooklyn border.

It's not just a lot of physical space. There's a world of difference between the neat row houses of Middle Village and Maspeth, where generations of middle-class city employees such as sanitation workers and firefighters live, and the tougher streets of Ridgewood that border Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Overall crime was down 76 percent from 1993 through 2010, and it inched up by less than 2 percent in 2010. The 104th Precinct ranks a decent 21st safest neighborhood for per capita crime in DNAinfo.com's Crime & Safety Report, with 103 major crimes per 10,000 residents. But in all the neighborhoods patrolled by the 104th Precinct, violent crime is rare, and in 2010 the precinct recorded just four murders. But even that low total represented double those recorded in 2009.

Still, felony assault was up each of the last two years, 22 percent in 2010, to 225 from 184, which is up 50 percent from 2008. Rape jumped, too, from 13 to 21 incidents last year, a 62 percent increase.

Car theft is a major — and growing — problem in the precinct, too, as commander Capt. Raymond DeWitt candidly admitted to residents last year. The 104th Precinct had 359 reported car thefts in 2010, up a whopping 21 percent from the 297 recorded in 2009. That's down 60 percent from 2001 levels, but now heading in the wrong direction. The precinct ranks a woeful fifth-worst for car theft.

It hasn't been much better for burglaries, with the area ranking 50th out of 69. Where once residents could leave their doors unlocked, Maspeth Neighborhood Watch groups warn that it's not a good idea today, given the string of burglaries hitting the area recently.