Crotona Park was the scene of 36 crimes in 2010, five times the number reported in 2009, and the most dramatic jump of any city park. Robberies in the park increased from 5 to 25. The Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) ranks have been decimated over the years. The current city budget allocates funds for only 152 officers - down from 212 last year year - and from a high of 450 in the 1990s. The majority of the officers are assigned to "contract parks" which pay for dedicated PEP to be assigned permanently to work in one park. This policy means that some boroughs like the Bronx can have as little as one or two officers per shift to patrol nearly 7,000 of acres of parkland. (Photo: Florescu for the NY Daily News)
Major crimes in a city parks rose 24 % in 2010 according to the city's latest official crime statistics, according to the New York Post.
In 2009 there were 265 incidents compared to 328 in 2010 - the highest number recorded since the city began collecting crime data just three years ago. Crotona Park in the Bronx saw the greatest increase in park crime which rose by 414% - robberies went from 5 to 25. Felony assaults in Riverside Park jumped from 1 in 2009 to 9 in 2010.
These figures represent a fraction of park crime because the city collects data in only 30 parks out of 1700 parks and playgrounds. Under local law 114 passed in 2005, the city was required to report crime in all parks over 1 acre by 2008 but they have not complied.
Crotona Park Nature Center - Broken Security Camera. Three of the center's vandalized cameras remain unusable because the city refuses to allocate the funds to repair or replace them. Park personnel recently prevented a rape in the park according to employees.
Top Five Parks - Major Crime Reported:
Central Park - Manhattan. Major crimes rose from 65 incidents in 2009 to 98 in 2010, an increase of more than 50 percent. Rapes rose from 0 in 2009 to 7 in 2010. Drug arrests rose from 34 to 71: Robberies increased from 20 to 23, property thefts increased from 40 to 63, and felony assaults dropped from six to five.
Flushing Meadows/ Corona Park - Queens. 52 crimes. Robberies jumped from 2 in 2009 to 10 in 2010. Felony assault dropped from 17 to 5.
Crotona Park - Bronx. The biggest increase was at Crotona Park where crime rose 414%. 7 incidents were reported in 2009 vs. 36 in 2010. Robberies increased from 5 to 25. Burglary rose from 0 to 2, and Grand Larceny went from 0 in 2009 to 6 in 2010.
Prospect Park - Brooklyn. Major Crimes in Prospect Park remained the same at 19. A slight increase in robberies were reported - from 8 in 2009 to 9 in 2010. Grand larcenies increased - 4 in 2009 to 7 in 2010. 2010 saw a sharp decrease in felony assaults from 6 in 2009 to 2 in 2010.
Riverside Park - Manhattan. 29 incidents in 2010 compared to 32 in 2009. Felony assaults jumped from 1 in 2009 to 9 in 2010.
- Geoffrey Croft
New York Daily News - March 10, 2011 - By Daniel Beekman
The Epoch Times - March 8, 2011 - By Tara MacIsaac
NY 1 - March 8, 2011 - By Dean Meminger
DNAinfo - March 8, 2011 -
By Jeff Mays
March 8, 2011 - By Olivia Scheck