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Prospect Park: Pretty dangerous - Report puts emerald jewel among top 3 most crime-ridden green spots in the city

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Prospect Park has always been considered one of Brooklyn’s most sought-after summertime destinations, but now it has a new moniker – it’s one of the most crime-ridden. According to a City Council study unearthed by the New York Post, Prospect Park was identified as having the third highest number of crimes in the city, following Riverside Park in Manhattan and Flushing Meadows Park in Queens. The report, which is allegedly based on NYPD crime statistics, stated that there were 25 felony crimes in Prospect Park between April 1 and September 30, 2006, the time frame in which the study was conducted. The study said that 36 felony crimes had been reported in Riverside Park. An addition 35 were reported in Flushing Meadows Park. Central Park – by far the busiest park in the city – was not included in the study. Other large borough green spaces finding a spot on the city’s most dangerous parks list included Dyker Beach Park, which had four crimes in the months studied and Marine Park and Paerdegat Park, which had two crimes each. The report came as a shock to Prospect Park Alliance president Tupper Thomas. “The park is unbelievably safe,” said Thomas. “I use this park every single day either recreationally or at work and I’ve never felt that the park has ever been safer.” In April, the first month of the study, cops were investigating a homicide in the park as well as a series of muggings. Captain John Scolaro, the commanding officer of the 78th Precinct, disputed the figures, claiming that there were 23 felony crimes in the park during the time frame studied, not 25. The study also neglected to mention that the crimes committed in the park actually represents a decrease in crime, Scolaro said. “At the same time in 2005, we had 33 felony crimes, so we had 10 less crimes,” the captain explained. Out of the 23 crimes reported, 14 were robberies. An additional four were assaults. “Unfortunat­ely, crimes did occur in the park last year, but we did a lot better than the year before,” Scolaro said. “The bottom line is that we’ve had a progressive decrease in crime and that the park is safer.” Still, Scolaro said, “one robbery is one too many.” Scolaro’s comments were backed by Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, who told the Post that most city parks are safe. “Just as crime is at an all-time low throughout the city, crime is at an all-time low in city parks,” Benepe said.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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