2011-09-30 / Community

Rockaway In Top 10 Where Safety Concerned

By Howard Schwach

The Rockaways are in the top ten neighborhoods in New York City and the top four in Queens were safety is concerned, ranking ahead of such vaunted communities as Riverdale and the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Stop laughing.

It’s a statistical fact.

At least, according to a new website called DNAinfo.com, which has brought in famed crime reporter Murray Weiss to track crime throughout the city and provide the results in a way that the layman can appreciate.

“The information you get from the NYPD’s website is secretive and hard to track,” Weiss told The Wave this week. “You never get the final numbers, and we believe that it is important for communities to be able to get that information, from moving violations to homicides.”

“What I aim to do,” he added, “is to give comparisons that can be used by people looking to buy a home, to real estate brokers, to civic leaders and politicians. They deserve to have those hard numbers to make the proper comparisons. This provides the data for a critical dialogue that is of enormous value.”

Weiss is not new to the crime game, although this is his first venture into the digital world.

Working for the New York Daily News, Weiss was the lead reporter on such high-profile stories as the Robert Chambers case, where a young man killed a woman during rough sex, and the Amado Diallo case, where cops mistakenly shot an immigrant who they believed had a gun.

He has also penned a book called “Eye on 9-11.”

He says that the DNAinfo team did a “remarkable job” in building the database that drives the comparisons.

“This project is worthy of the best newspapers,” he said, adding that no newspaper would have the capacity to print the entire report.

Of Rockaway, the online report says, “Crime in both [the 110 and 101 Precincts] has declined dramatically, dropping nearly 80 percent from 1993 to 2010, That improvement was enough to rank the Rockaways as the 10th safest neighborhood for per capita crime in our Crime and Safety Report.

“Still, troubling trends persist. The 101 Precinct had six times the number of murders as the 100 Precinct in 2010, nearly five times the number of shootings with 24 and roughly double the number of felony assaults. In 2010, the Rockaways had the city’s third lowest property crime rate, but car thefts were up 18 percent in the two precincts combined.”

Which Queens communities rank higher than Rockaway?

Forest Hills and Rego Park, Bayside and Flushing/Whitestone.

Rockaway’s neighboring communities fared worse than Rockaway.

Woodhaven/Richmond Hill came in 11th in Queens and 22nd overall. Ozone Park and Howard Beach were ranked 13th in Queens and 26th overall.

St. Albans and South Jamaica came in at 15th in Queens and 55th overall.

“At the end of the day, residents can see the data and the rankings that come from that date,” Weiss said. “That is an extraordinary technical achievement.”

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