With a population of more than 2.3 million over an area of only 178 square miles, Queens, New York City, is one of the most diverse and densely populated regions on the entire planet.
Like any other suburb of a large city, it has its fair share of crime. Many people are unsure if Queens is a safe area to live in because of its vast population in such a small area. So, I decided to take a closer look at the crime rates, security precautions, and overall safety rankings in Queens, New York.
So, let’s find out, Is Queens NY Safe?
- Crime Statistics
- Types Of Crime in Queens
- Rising Numbers
- Safety Precautions
- Neighborhood Policing Program of the NYPD
- Alert, the NYC program
- General Safety Scores
- Still Undecided Where To Move To?
- Final Thoughts
The overall crime rate in Queens has been decreasing over the past decade. In 2019, the total number of reported crimes in Queens was 56,004, a 4.4% decrease compared to the previous year. The crime rate per 100,000 residents was 2,387, which is lower than the national average.
Types Of Crime in Queens
The most common type of crime in Queens is property crime, which includes burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft.
In 2019, there were 39,613 reported incidents of property crime in Queens, accounting for 70.6% of all reported crimes. However, property crime has fallen over the last decade and fell by 5.5% in 2019 compared to the previous year.
Violent crime, which includes murder, robbery, rape, and aggravated assault, is less common in Queens. In 2019, there were 16,391 reported incidents of violent crime, accounting for 29.4% of all reported crimes. Violent crime per 100,000 residents was 696, also lower than the national average.
Murder, the most serious violent crime, is relatively rare in Queens. In 2019, there were 57 reported cases, which is a decrease of 22.4% compared to the previous year. The rate of murder per 100,000 residents was 2.4, which is lower than the national average.
Rape is relatively rare in Queens. In 2019, there were 394 reported incidents of rape, which is a decrease of 10.1% compared to the previous year. The rate of rape per 100,000 residents was 16.7, again lower than the national average.
Robbery and aggravated assault are the most common types of violent crime in Queens. In 2019, there were 8,153 reported robberies, a decrease of 1.6% compared to the previous year.
The rate per 100,000 residents was 346, higher than the national average. In 2019, there were 7,787 reported incidents of aggravated assault, a 5.5% decrease from the previous year. The rate of aggravated assault per 100,000 residents was 330, which is lower than the national average.
Overall, the crime statistics in Queens, NY, are relatively low compared to other large cities in the United States. Property crime is the most common, though it has been falling over the past decade. Violent crime is less common.
It is important to note that, as of 2020, crime rates across the nation have spiked dramatically, and Queens is no exception. The only available reliable data indicates that the overall crime rate has risen in the following areas:
- Around 20% overall increase within Queens South precincts.
- More than a 30% increase within Queens North precincts.
- Murder rates have decreased, but felonious attacks and rapes have risen in number.
- Burglaries and robberies rose by more than 25%.
- Grand theft and auto theft sharply surged, up more than 34% in the entire borough.
- 43%+ rise in Transit crime.
- Theft from stores rose by more than 30%.
These latest figures are a blip in crime statistics that reflect the impact of the covid pandemic and the measures to combat it. Thankfully that is all in the past, and as such, the figures should be viewed as a temporary anomaly.
Here are some safety tips and precautions while in Queens, NY.
Be aware of your surroundings
When out and about, stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Avoid walking with headphones or talking on your phone while walking alone. If you’re walking somewhere unfamiliar, consider using a map or GPS to help you navigate.
Use common sense when it comes to personal safety. For example, avoid walking alone at night and never leave your belongings unattended in public places.
Be cautious when using public transport
While public transportation in Queens, NY, is generally safe, it is important to be careful. Stay in well-lit and populated areas while waiting for buses or trains, and avoid taking shortcuts through quiet or isolated areas.
Secure your home and property
Be sure your home and property are secure, especially when you’re away. Install deadbolts on all doors and windows, and if possible, consider installing a security system. Don’t leave valuable items in plain sight.
Be careful when driving
Queens, NY, is a busy place, so be careful when driving. Follow traffic laws, use turn signals, and be aware of other drivers and pedestrians. Avoid distractions, such as texting or talking on your phone. When driving, ensure all doors are locked. When parking, make certain that no valuables are visible and that your vehicle is secure.
Stay up-to-date on local news and safety alerts. Sign up for emergency alerts and follow the social media accounts of local authorities and law enforcement agencies. Overall, you can help ensure your safety by exercising common sense and following basic safety precautions.
Neighborhood Policing Program of the NYPD
The New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Neighborhood Policing Program is an innovative policing initiative launched to strengthen the police-community relationship.
The program creates a safer environment by improving communication and trust between police officers and community members. The Neighborhood Policing Program in Queens, New York, has been implemented in several precincts, including the 101st, 102nd, 103rd, and 104th precincts. Both residents and officers have praised it.
It’s better to be proactive…
The idea is that police should be proactive in preventing crime and building relationships with community members, rather than just responding to emergencies. The program involves deploying police officers to specific neighborhoods known as “sectors,” where they work with community members and local organizations to identify and address public safety issues.
Under the Neighborhood Policing Program, each sector is assigned a team of officers, including a sector coordinator and two or more beat officers.
Knowing your boys in blue…
Police also collaborate with local organizations to find solutions. They attend community meetings, visit schools, and hold events to engage with residents to build trust. By having officers assigned to specific neighborhoods, residents are more likely to know the officers patrolling their area, and officers are better able to understand the unique concerns of each community.
It has had a positive impact on crime reduction in Queens. According to the NYPD, precincts that have implemented the program have seen a crime reduction compared to precincts that have not.
Real-time crime data…
It has also been successful in reducing the number of complaints against officers and improving officer morale so they are better able to do their job effectively and safely.
One of the components of the Neighborhood Policing Program is the use of data-driven policing strategies. Officers have tablets that allow them to access real-time crime data, which helps them identify trends and patterns in criminal activity.
Educating the public…
The information can then be used to develop targeted strategies to address public safety concerns. For example, if there is an increase in vehicle thefts in a particular area, officers will increase patrols and educate residents about the problem and how to take precautions.
Alert, the NYC program
The Alert NYC program is a vital resource for residents of Queens, NY. This program aims to provide individuals and families in Queens with timely and accurate information about emergencies such as natural disasters, public safety issues, and other critical events that may impact their safety and well-being.
It can also send notifications straight to residents’ mobile devices via text message or email, which is one of the main advantages.
When there is no time…
It allows people to get real-time updates even when they’re on the go or away from home. This feature is important in emergencies when time is of the essence, and individuals need to be informed quickly and efficiently.
Another key feature of the program is its ability to provide targeted information based on the user’s location. For example, if a power outage occurs in a specific neighborhood in Queens, the program can send alerts only to residents of that neighborhood.
Being ready and aware…
It also provides a wealth of information on its website, including tips on how to prepare for emergencies, guidance on what to do, and updates on current situations. The initiative serves to guarantee that people are ready and aware in an emergency.
Whether it’s a natural disaster, a public safety issue, or any other critical event, the Alert NYC program is there to help residents stay safe and informed.
General Safety Scores
Queens, NY, is the largest borough of New York City and one of the most cosmopolitan places in the world. However, Queens is a relatively safe place to live compared to other boroughs in New York City. It has a lower crime rate than 40% of American cities.
The borough is divided into several neighborhoods, each with its crime rate. South Jamaica, Jamaica, and Far Rockaway have higher-than-average crime rates in Queens. Robbery, assault, and homicide are more common in these areas.
The more dangerous areas to avoid…
Other areas with higher-than-average crime rates include East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and Corona. While these areas are generally safe, theft, burglary, and robbery, do regularly occur.
Visitors to these areas should use caution and pay attention to their surroundings, especially at night. It’s important to remember that crime rates vary by neighborhood and can change over time, so stay informed and take the necessary precautions.
Still Undecided Where To Move To?
Then, why not take a look at the Best Neighborhoods In Brooklyn, the Best Neighborhoods In Long Island, and the Safest Neighborhoods In Philadelphia? Or perhaps you’d be interested in the Safest Neighborhoods In Atlanta or the Best Places To Live In Florida For Families.
If you’re thinking of relocating altogether, then check out the Safest Cities In Texas and the Safest Places To Live In Florida, as well as the Safest Cities In California and the Best Cities To Live In Connecticut.
It’s also good to know where to avoid when moving. For that, we’ve included the Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Los Angeles, the Most Dangerous Cities In Florida, the 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Chicago, and the Most Dangerous Cities In Ohio in 2023.
Queens is a magnificent place to live or visit with its rich history and modern diversity across 99 neighborhoods and sixteen distinct communities.
It’s a great place for singles and couples alike, with lower-than-average housing prices. Even considering the post-pandemic national crime wave, it has a below-average crime rate compared to other areas with similar populations.
Good Luck with your move or visit, and stay safe!