safest for all crime
120th precinct / population 175,876
While the rest of Staten Island is often compared to suburbia, people know they're in New York City when in St. George and its neighboring communities in the 120th Precinct, along the borough's North Shore. Tethered by the Staten Island Ferry and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, this dense mix of residential and commercial districts mirrors the diversity of ethnicity, race and economic status of the Manhattan and Brooklyn boroughs it faces.
St. George, on the northeast tip of Staten Island, is the most densely populated neighborhood in the borough and traces its history back to the time of the founding fathers. There are tightly knit, middle-class communities nearby, such as Westerleigh and Silver Lake, with single- and multiple-family dwellings belonging to families of cops, firefighters and other civil servants.
Yet this set of neighborhoods came in 12th in DNAinfo.com's Crime & Safety Report — somewhat worse than the rest of Staten Island. This position can perhaps be explained by the fact that St. George houses six city projects and two federally subsidized communities.
Drugs and related crime in the projects in Mariners Harbor, New Brighton, Stapleton and Clifton's Park Hill section (a symbol of drug trafficking in the 1990s) drove crime statistics up. Cops at the 120th Precinct were challenged in 2010 as they tried to keep crime at record low levels. Hate crimes have become an issue, with 11 attacks in a four-month period in 2010, most occurring in Port Richmond, including an assault on a gay couple and attacks on Mexican immigrants. Overall, serious crime inched up 3 percent from 2009 to 2010, with an increase from 1,505 to 1,547 reported crimes. A modest rise, yet it included 13 murders, most linked to drugs or gang activity, and a 10 percent rise in robberies.
Rise in misdemeanor sex crimes from 2008 to 2010
Drop in burglaries from 2001 to 2010
Photo: Getty/NY Daily News Archive
On March 10, 2003, New York City undercover detectives James Nemorin and Rodney Andrews arranged to meet two men suspected of selling guns. They were going to purchase a Tec-9 submachine gun after successfully buying a .357 Magnum a few days earlier. The detectives arrived with $1,200 cash, ready for the trade, but the gun dealers never planned to sell the weapon. Instead, their intent was to rip off their marks.
After the detectives drove to a street where they were told they'd get the Tec-9, one of the sellers, Ronell Wilson, took out a .44 caliber handgun and shot Andrews in the head. Nemorin stated that they were police officers, but Wilson did not care. He shot Nemorin in the head and drove off in the car with the two mortally wounded officers. Wilson eventually stopped and dumped the bodies at the intersection of Hannah Street and St. Pauls Avenue, in Tompkinsville. He was finally captured after a massive two-day manhunt. Wilson was convicted in federal court and became the first person sentenced to death in New York State in more than 50 years.
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