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Thursday, April 9, 2009

What do you think about crime in your neighborhood?

[See update below]

Last week, the Norwood News published crime statistics for every sector in the 52nd Precinct, which is one of the biggest precinct's in the Bronx and in the city.

The idea was to give readers an idea of what's going in their specific neighborhood, not just the entire precinct, which is made up of several neighborhoods.

Here's a copy of the the 52nd Precinct crime maps for 2008.

Basically, we just want to start a discussion this week on how you feel about the crime in your neighborhood, whether it's in the Five-Two or any other precinct here in the Bronx.

Just click on the comments icon at the bottom of this post. Let us know your thoughts and we'll post a round-up of all the comments at the end of the week.

Do you feel safe in your neighborhood? Do you feel like crime has gone down? Do you think the police are doing a good job? Are there things you're concerned about?

We want to know what you think.

[Update, Thursday afternoon]

-Here's a link to some crime theories we laid out on Tuesday.

-Vote in our reader poll on the top right hand side of this page.

-Megan Taylor, a fan of the Everyblock blog writes that their efforts to compile local crime stats are limited to what the NYPD puts out in their weekly Compstat reports. For the record, we would like to praise the NYPD for providing these stats to the Norwood News. The only other precinct we have sector stats for is the 50th, courtesy of the Riverdale Press.

-Keep the comments coming.


  1. Great dialogue to start... Come on people, there should already be like 50 comments here!
    I generally feel extremely safe here in Bedford Park. This isn't to say that crime isn't an issue... It will always be an issue in any neighborhood of NYC. It's just that by following certain common sense precautions, such as not walking around with an iPod headphone stuck in your ear or not walking alone from the subway at 3am, you can protect yourself from many potentially dangerous situations.
    For me, it's quality of life issues that are huge: litter (how many times have I seen ADULTS, not even teenagers or kids, pull up and park their car on my block and just kick trash from their car onto the sidewalk?), car alarms, loud music in cars and neighboring buildings, dog poop, and lack of access to affordable, fresh groceries.

  2. I was surprised by the stats for sector J. When we receive the crime reports from the 52nd Precinct, we are often told that our area is safe. Although,I feel safe in my neighborhood,evidently, our autos are targets.
    Is it possible to receive these reports on a sector basis each month? The over-all report for the entire precinct does not really inform the public about their own neighborhood.
    Thank you for the info.

  3. After months of asking and then threatening to use the Freedom of Information Act, the Norwood News finally got the crime numbers for each of the 13 sectors of the 52nd Precinct. It is interesting to note that this information for crime by neighborhood/sector is freely shared by the neighboring 50th Precinct with the residents of Riverdale. Last year, when the 52nd Precinct released the sector numbers for the first time, our neighborhood led in several crime categories. The recently released 2008 numbers only prove what we at OLR have known for years-we have more than our share of crime…our “Sector George” leads the precinct in half the 6 major categories (Grand Larceny Auto excluded) and is 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the other 3 categories. Of the 13 precinct sectors in the 52, we have the dubious distinction of being 1st in Homicide, Felony Assault, and Burglary – 2nd in Rape – 3rd in Robbery – 4th in Grand Larceny.
    If you were to include the homicides and rapes from Sector F which covers the other half of our parish across the Concourse, we would have 5 of the 10 murders and 11 of the 27 rapes in the precinct. George Sector would also probably be first in Robberies, if the “unreported” and “reported but reports were lost” crimes against Mexicans were added to the 56 robberies reported and actually filed.
    The Police Department takes great pride in the fact that crime was down last year in the 52nd Precinct; we, however, are not impressed by the high marks/numbers we got for our crime report card. Keep in mind, our area is renowned for its superabundance of open air, in your face drug markets a.k.a Criminal Enterprise Zones. Drug dealing apparently is not an indexed crime that can be quantified...kind of ironic when local residents can tell you where they are and the days and hours they operate. I presume the police don't list them because the public would respond "If you know where they are, why don't you do something!"

  4. My sector is one of the worst in the 52nd.

    Only looking at violent crime (property crime occurs in the nicer areas) we're

    2nd in homicides
    1st in robberies
    2nd in felony assaults

    I wish we had population numbers for each sector, that way we could figure out the crime rates.

  5. Great point. Getting population numbers would be the hard part. I guess we could kind of estimate based on the density of the neighborhoods, such as how much of the housing is apartment buildings or single-family homes.

    I've never asked the NYPD how they determine the sectors, but I imagine they break them down based on population. What I'm saying is that if your sector leads in a certain crime rate, it probably means that's because it's a problem, not because there's just more population.

    Still, I'm just guessing. I'll have to ask somebody about this.

  6. In fact, what is really telling is the amount of crime below E 196th, as compared to north of it.

    Below E 196th:

    Homicides: 7 out of 10 = 70%

    Rapes: 20 out of 27 = 74%

    Robberies: 276 out of 486 = 57%

    Felony assaults: 252 out of 456 = 55%

  7. Alex,

    The boundaries may correspond with census tracts. If so, calculating population is easy. If you have a higher resolution version of one of these maps send it to me and I can figure it out tomorrow.

  8. For more Bronx crime data, check http://nyc.everyblock.com/crime/locations/boroughs/the-bronx/
    Everyblock collects crime reports from the precincts every week. Unfortunately, the way the precinct data is organized means we can't get a good idea of how/where crime is concentrated.

  9. Alex, I am not affiliated with EveryBlock, just a fan.

  10. Oops. My bad. I corrected that in the post.

  11. I wonder if they have crime maps from the early 90's.....this ould help us see which areas got worse and which improved. Im almost certain that Norwood and Bedford Pk had really little crime in the early 90's...

    anyway we can get these maps?

  12. Between 1992 and 1996 we had three cars stolen. We've had our current car since then. Seems like an improvement to me.


  13. As a retired NYPD Lieutenant and current Criminal Justice professor at Monroe College, I may be able to shed some light on the often confusing issue of crime statistics. I have included a link to the public webpage that documents crime in the 52 Pct.

    As you will be able to tell from the link, and the story the NYPD loves to tell, is that crime is down significantly in the 52 Precinct when you compare historical crime trends to present day occurrences (with one current exception; look at robbery 2009 vs. 2008/2007). These figures, of course, are no consolation to anyone who has been a recent victim of crime or who just does not feel safe. However, they do provide some context when describing crime in a neighborhood.

    It is a precinct commander's responsibility to allocate their personnel according to crime trends that occur within their precinct. However, in assessing these crime trends or patterns, precinct commanders have to take into account the entire precinct, as well as adjoining precincts, and the rest of the city if similarities in crimes, or perpetrators of those crimes exist. They do not have the resources, nor would it would it be wise for them to respond to every blip on the radar screen, by shifting their resources from one block to the next with each incident.

    This does not, however, relieve the Police Department from providing information to the public relative to a specific and/or dangerous trend, which from time to time does occur.


  14. I live near 205th in Norwood. There is a building where the people are constantly blasting music, converging in front of the building and on the stoop - perhaps 20 at a time, including children. The adults drink and break bottles. They shoot and yell. They have no respect for anyone. The cops will not come. What kind of place has this become?


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