(Editor’s note: This is the first in an occasional series that will seek insights about life in Lower Manhattan by looking at data and statistics available from the City’s Data2Go.NYC website. This installment focuses on crime.)
Here’s a new flash that will shock no one: Violent crime is vanishingly rare in Lower Manhattan. Within Community District 1 (a collection of neighborhoods encompassing 1.5 square miles, bounded on the east, west, and south by the East and Hudson Rivers, and New York Harbor, and on the north roughly by Canal, Baxter, and Pearl Streets and the Brooklyn Bridge), according the Data2Go.NYC, a wide range of benchmarks shows some of the lowest totals anywhere in the five boroughs of New York.
For every 1,000 residents within this catchment, there are 0.8 felony assaults, 0.7 burglaries, and 0.2 motor vehicle thefts, 0.1 rapes, and 0.0 homicides reported annually. (These totals extrapolate to 54 assaults, 48 burglaries, 13 car thefts, and seven sexual assaults per year Downtown.)
But Downtown’s population does have something to fear: the crime of grand larceny (defined as theft of property valued at more than $1,000, or property of any value under special circumstances) is reported at the rate of 793 incidents per 1,000 residents every year. This means that a typical denizen of Lower Manhattan has nearly an 80 percent chance of being unlawfully deprived of at least one piece of valuable property in an average year. (These statistics presumably weighted to reflect multiple counts of grand larceny committed against single victims, as might occur in a case of identity theft, for example. The actual probability for one resident experiencing one such loss is likely much lower.)
Nor are we blameless: The incarceration rate for Lower Manhattan residents is 15 per 100,000. Pro rated for our local population of slightly fewer than 68,000, this means that (on any given day) approximately ten Lower Manhattan residents are cooling their heels in jail.
The statistics for child neglect and abuse are calculated on the basis of what percentage of reports are deemed sufficiently credible to warrant follow-up investigation. For Community District 1, this benchmark (known as the “indication rate”) is 27.9 percent. For 2014 (the last year for which complete figures are available), there were 73 such reports, involving 109 children. Both the number of reports and the percentage of them that meet the threshold to trigger additional inquiry consistently rank Lower Manhattan as 57th or 58th among all 59 Community Districts in the five boroughs, meaning that such offenses seem less prevalent here than in almost any other area of New York City.