Crime in Parks

Historically, crimes were not tracked in New York City’s parks – until NY4P helped pass a law in 2005 requiring the New York Police Department to begin tracking and providing crime data for parks. NY4P is the only source for reliable crime data for the 30 parks currently tracked by the New York City Police Department. We update the data on a quarterly basis and advocate for broader tracking.

New Yorkers may be surprised to learn that until 2005, crimes in parks weren’t reported as occurring in a park; instead, the NYPD tracked them to the nearest street address. (The lone exception is Central Park, where the Central Park Police Precinct has been tracking crime for decades.)  Responding to an advocacy campaign by NY4P and other groups, the City Council, with leadership from Council Member Peter F. Vallone Jr., and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg passed Local Law 114 in 2005, mandating that the seven major felony crime complaints be tracked in city parks.

The legislation allowed for a phased implementation, beginning with the city’s 20 largest parks.  In 2008, the tracking requirement was expanded to 30 parks, and the law called for it to expand to the 100 largest parks one year later, the 200 largest parks two years later, and all parks measuring one acre or greater three years later.  In 2008 NY4P released Tracking Crime in Parks, an assessment of the first 18 months of data on crime in parks. Unfortunately, no further expansion of reporting has taken place since 2008 due to technological limitations, so the NYPD is still tracking crime in only 30 city parks.  NY4P continues to work with the City Council to advocate for full compliance. 

The Data

Crime data profiles about each of the 30 parks currently tracked by the NYPD are publicly accessible through the links below.  In addition to documenting instances of the seven major Felony Crime Complaints on a quarterly basis, the profiles include information on the parks’ facilities, their surrounding neighborhoods, Community Boards, Police Precincts, and City Council Districts. 

With such a limited sampling of parks, it is difficult to accurately analyze crime trends in parks and draw meaningful conclusions, but it is our hope that making this data available to New Yorkers will help them assess the safety of their parks.  NY4P will act as a clearinghouse for crime data as it becomes available, updating each profile on a quarterly basis as the NYPD releases new data, and will continue to advocate for expanding reporting to more parks, as mandated by the 2005 legislation. 

New York City park crime data, updated quarterly:

Total Major Felony Crimes

Alley Pond Park, Queens
Blue Heron Park, Staten Island 
Bronx Park, Bronx
Canarsie Park, Brooklyn
Central Park, Manhattan
Crotona Park, Bronx 
Cunningham Park, Queens
Dyker Beach Park, Brooklyn
FDR/Midland Beach, Staten Island
Ferry Point Park, Bronx 
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
Forest Park, Queens 
Fort Washington Park, Manhattan 
Fresh Kills Park, Staten Island
Great Kills Park, Staten Island 
Highbridge Park, Manhattan 
Inwood Hill Park, Manhattan 
Joseph T. McGuire Park, Brooklyn
Kissena Park, Queens 
La Tourette Park, Staten Island
Marine Park, Brooklyn 
Paerdegat Basin Park, Brooklyn 
Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
Prospect Park, Brooklyn 
Randall’s Island Park, Manhattan
Riverside Park, Manhattan
Rockaway Community Park, Queens 
Soundview Park, Bronx 
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Wards Island Park, Staten Island 
Wolfe’s Pond Park, Staten Island 

Note on Property Crimes: 

More than half of the crimes reported in parks last year were crimes against property, including the categories of burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny auto.  Many instances of larceny result from burglaries of City-owned facilities within parks and vehicle break-ins in large parking lots, like the Citi Field parking areas in Flushing Meadows Corona Park or on streets directly adjacent to a park.  Another common scenario that results in larceny or grand larceny occurs when patrons leave personal property unattended while participating in a park activity, and their belongings are stolen.  In all of these crimes, there is no violent confrontation between individuals.

Recent public comments on tracking crime in parks 

Safety in Parks: Testimony to the New York City Council Committees on Public Safety and Parks & Recreation
January 30, 2012

Tracking and Reporting of Crime in Parks: Testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Parks & Recreation
January 22, 2008

Tracking and Reporting of Crime in Parks: Testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Parks & Recreation
March 1, 2007

Tracking and Reporting of Crime in Parks: Testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Parks & Recreation
November 13, 2003

Tracking and Reporting of Crime in Parks: Testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Parks & Recreation
April 2, 2003