Bed-Stuy Crime Down But Increasing Wealth Disparity Could Alter Trends

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Crown Heights sees crime rise amid increasing mix of gentrification and poverty

By Stephen Witt

Major crime continued to fall throughout Bedford-Stuyvesant in 2013, according to Police Department statistics, but there are some troubling blips in violent crime that could point to a challenge to keep crime down under the incoming de Blasio Administration.

In the 79th Precinct, which covers the bulk of Bed-Stuy, overall felony crime is down 11 percent for the year. However, both murder and rape have shown increases.

As of Dec. 22, there have been 13 reported murders for the year as compared to 11 at this time in 2012. There have been 25 reported rapes this year as compared to 18 at this time last year, which is an increase of 39 percent.

On the other side, violent crime such as robbery is down over 18 percent with 383 reported crimes as compared to 469 at this time last year. Reported felony assault is down 9 percent with 460 reported incidents thus far this year as compared to 506 at this time in 2012.

Related to violent crime, both shooting incidents and shooting victims are down over 20 percent for the year.

The nonviolent felony crime of burglary is down 29 percent while both grand larceny and auto theft is up very slightly.

In the 81st Precinct, overall felony crime fell 5.3 percent and violent crime has been greatly reduced. There have been six reported murders this year within the confines of the precinct compared to 16 at this time last year for a 62.5 percent decrease, while reported rape is about flat with 18 reported thus far in 2013 as compared to 19 at this time last year.

Conversely, reported felony assault is up 18.5 percent with 352 incidents so far in 2013 as compared to 297 at this time last year. Robbery is down three percent for the year.

Both shooting victims (down 23 percent) and shooting incidents (down 27 percent) have also fallen dramatically.

Also seeing drastic decreases are burglary (down 26 percent) and auto theft (down 22 percent), while grand larceny has fallen slightly.

While overall crime is down in Bed-Stuy for the year, several precincts covering Central Brooklyn have seen slight increases. This includes the 77th Precinct, which covers the northern part of Crown Heights bordering Bed-Stuy where felony crime is up nearly 14 percent. This includes double-digit percentage increases in the violent crimes of murder, rape, felony assault and robbery.

Interestingly, this precinct also covers the increasingly gentrified enclaves of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights, where long food pantry lines are sometimes seen across the street from trendy eateries.

Crime is also up slightly (3.38 percent) in East New York’s 75th Precinct.

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