New York City Crime and Safest Neighborhoods
Start spreading the news. If you want to be a part of old New York, there are many factors to consider before you pack a moving truck. Safety is a big one. Is NYC dangerous? What’s the New York City crime rate? Where will you find the safest places to live, work, and play in the Big Apple?
For the safety-conscious future New Yorker, this guide should help.
Is NYC Safe?
First things first, let’s look at the overall safety of the city. If safety is a major concern for you or your family, moving to a large city can feel risky. And NYC is the largest of them all.
To determine whether you’ll be safe in New York City, we should examine a few dimensions of personal safety, starting with crime.
New York City Crime Rate
The fastest way to get a sense of a city’s relative safety is to look at crime data. Take this with a grain of salt, though—certain factors like reporting standards and unreported offenses mean that crime statistics don’t necessarily paint the entire picture.
The New York Police Department publishes citywide historical crime data (and lots of other valuable reports and dashboards). This data reveals that the NYPD received about 537,000 crime reports in 2022. It’s a big number, but keep in mind that NYC is a big city. As of last year, the New York City crime rate was about 28.5 crimes per 1,000 residents.
In recent years, this rate was closer to 25 per 1,000, slightly higher than the national average. Considering how common crime can be in major cities, that’s not terrible.
All in all, for a city of its size, NYC is relatively low-crime. But crime isn’t everything.
Does NYC Feel Safe?
Safety is also a feeling, a sense of well-being informed by more than just the frequency of crime. To get a sense of how safe New York City feels, look to NYC residents.
An AreaVibes poll asked locals how they rated the amount of crime in New York City. About half of respondents said that the crime situation was “excellent” or “good.” Similarly, 48% of respondents said they felt “extremely safe” or “fairly safe” walking alone at night.
A poll by Niche.com reiterated these attitudes. More than 70% of New Yorkers felt that the city was “pretty safe” or “very safe.” Most respondents also noted that the city has a strong, visible police presence, though officers may be slow to respond.
Locals aren’t unanimous, but most seem to find New York City safe enough for their liking.
Safest Neighborhoods in New York City
NYC is huge and diverse in many ways. What you find on one New York City street, neighborhood, or borough could be drastically different from what you’ll experience one subway stop away.
All that’s to say: if your goal is staying safe, your location within the city matters. NeighborhoodScout ranked the top 10 safest neighborhoods in New York City. Here are the locations that rose to the top.
- Roosevelt Island North
- Roosevelt Island West
- E 93rd St / 1st Ave
- FDR Dr
- Roosevelt Island
- W 115th St / Amsterdam Ave
- Kips Bay East
- Washington Heights North
- Washington Heights Northwest
Move to one of these New York City neighborhoods, and you’ll be less likely to experience crime. (But don’t be fooled—crime can happen anywhere.)
Most Dangerous New York City Neighborhoods
Just as there are safe places to live in NYC, there are also places that warrant more caution. AreaVibes ranked these as the worst neighborhoods in New York City in terms of violent crime. In other words, there are more dangerous crimes like robbery and assault per person in these areas compared with elsewhere in the city.
- Mott Haven (20.4 violent crimes per 1,000 residents)
- Hunts Point (19.4 per 1,000)
- East Harlem (16.2 per 1,000)
- Chinatown (15.6 per 1,000)
- Midtown (14.0 per 1,000)
- Brownsville (12.6 per 1,000)
- Fordham (12.4 per 1,000)
- Tremont (12.3 per 1,000)
- South Bronx (11.6 per 1,000)
- High Bridge (11.5 per 1,000)
Each of these neighborhoods experiences violent crime 2–3.5x more often than the city average. That’s not to say that you’ll definitely experience a violent crime if you live there.
As in any major city, New York City crime statistics get thrown off by well-trafficked areas like tourist attractions, train stops, and airports. With so many people in one place, many of whom aren’t local residents, the per capita crime rate inevitably spikes.
However, if you call one of these New York City neighborhoods home, taking extra security precautions to protect yourself is a smart idea.
New York City Crime Map
Where will you find the safest neighborhoods in New York City? What about the most dangerous? Take a look at this New York City crime map for a quick visual.
The NYPD publishes a real-time New York City crime map, though the sheer volume of crimes in the city can make this difficult to decipher. Interestingly, the NYPD also maintains a map of graffiti throughout the city, complete with photos.
The Best Places to Live in New York City: Other Factors
Safety is only one of many considerations to make when you’re choosing a NYC neighborhood to call home. Your family, financial situation, and priorities play a role, too. Here are some other New York City neighborhoods and suburbs you might like.
Top-rated public schools (from Niche):
- Vinegar Hill
- Prospect Heights
- Brooklyn Heights
- Fort Greene
- Suburbs like Syosset, Woodbury, Great Neck Plaza, or Lake Success
Highest real estate appreciation (from NeighborhoodScout):
- Inwood North
- Marble Hill
- W 115th St / Amsterdam Ave
- E 57th St / Madison Ave
- Roosevelt Island
Lowest cost of living (from Niche):
- Co-op City
- Hunts Point
- Howland Hook
- Spuyten Duyvil
- Suburbs like Cedar Glen Lakes and Cedar Glen West
Most walkable (from Walk Score):
- Little Italy
- Union Square
- Flatiron District
Really, most areas in New York are very walkable, and many have easy access to a public transit option.
Best for singles (from AreaVibes):
- Garment District
- Park Slope
- Upper East Side
You might also need to consider commute times, must-have amenities like parks and restaurants, available real estate, or any number of factors. Sifting through the coolest neighborhoods and best suburbs of New York City takes time, but it’s important to find the right place for your needs.
No matter where you settle down, keep yourself safe by prioritizing home security.
Home Security Tips for NYC
Security doesn’t happen by chance. It’s crucial to take proactive, purposeful steps to protect your residence, your loved ones, and your possessions. Our guide, New York City: Home Security & Crime Prevention Tips, is full of helpful information. Here are some highlights.
Begin by making your property less attractive to criminals through the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. Increase lighting, tidy up your yard, create clear sightlines, and so on. Do anything you can to tell burglars that someone cares for this property and will notice trespassers.
Familiarize yourself with the NYPD and the police resources that are available to you. The department offers several community-building programs that you might find helpful. It’s also good to know which police precinct you live in—though, since there are 77 precincts, looking at this map from the NYPD is probably the fastest solution. Once you locate your precinct, you can find the contact information for a local crime prevention officer and Neighborhood Coordination Officers.
Most importantly, install a video surveillance system with professional monitoring. Deep Sentinel protects your property through an innovative combination of AI security cameras and proactive crime prevention. Whenever trouble arises, live guards intervene and contact the police on your behalf. It’s high-level, high-tech security for the ultimate protection.
Find a good neighborhood and use these tips to reduce your risk of falling victim to crime. Deep Sentinel is your home security partner, ensuring that New York City crime stays far from your doorstep.