The Crime and Safety Report, located at DNAinfo.com, is the first of its kind, said one of the site's creators, Murray Weiss. It includes interactive features, specific details and numbers by neighborhood, allows users to compare statistics between neighborhoods and boroughs, and provides stories tailored for each area.
After discussing plans for the site last February with his co-creator, DNAinfo Senior Editor Nicole Bode, Weiss set out to get "really detailed data that is closely held by the [Police Department] that would show every precinct, every crime category right down to the number of shootings, arrests for various crimes and even parking tickets and summonses given out in neighborhoods," he said.
As the former criminal justice editor for the New York Post newspaper, where he ran law enforcement coverage for 17 years, Weiss had the right police contacts to do just that, he said. In addition, the 2010 census data was due to be released in April of 2011, so Weiss and Bode could also use those numbers to compile the statistics.
According to the report, out of 69 New York City neighborhoods, Forest Hills and Rego Park together rank the sixth safest. Astoria is the 19th safest, with Jackson Heights, Middle Village and Woodhaven ranking closely behind.
However, it reports that murders in Queens rose by 22 percent between 2009 and 2010.
As for Brooklyn, Bedford Stuyvesant ranks at 62, East New York at 53, and Williamsburg at 47. The most dangerous neighborhoods, according to the report, are Greenwhich Village and the Meatpacking District at 68th on the list, and Midtown Manhattan is the worst in the city.
For Weiss, the most shocking information he found from compiling the numbers is how well neighborhoods in Queens ranked, especially compared to areas in Manhattan, he said.
"Many of those neighborhoods [in Queens], including some that used to be very poorly rated," he said, "were placed even well ahead of some of the well recognized high-profile neighborhoods in Manhattan that are seen as super affluent and safe."
In addition, Weiss said he was surprised by how much the statistics from one neighborhood to another have leveled out since the 90s.
"It used to be that if you walked around in a particular neighborhood you were in great danger," Weiss said. "There's not this enormous disparity from one neighborhood to another that there once was."
The crime trends in Queens and Brooklyn between 1993 and 2010 that include murder, rape assault, and different forms of theft are relatively equal to each other, according to the database. However, Brooklyn has significantly higher numbers of reported felony assaults.
Weiss said the most important part of having the Crime Report available to city residents is that it provides them an education that's never previously been available.
"Anyone who wants to deal with the Police Department and discuss what the needs are" for his or her neighborhood, he said, "this gives a real view into the reality."
"You can see what the politicians see and you can have a really intelligent conversation with your representatives about the reality," of local crime, Weiss added.
To view the full Crime Report, visit DNAinfo.com and click on the Crime and Safety Report tab on the upper right hand side.