Brooklyn, on the west end of Long Island, is one of five boroughs in New York City. If you are visiting NYC this year and are concerned about personal safety in NYC, you will be pleased to hear that crime rates are falling across the city. The NYPD announced in June that there had been a 16.8% fall in shootings and a 3.1% drop in homicides over the previous 12 months.
Nevertheless, it is still important to be on your guard while exploring Brooklyn. You must take certain safety precautions if you want to protect yourself from a motor vehicle accident, theft, or other dangers.
Is Brooklyn Safe?
Most parts of Brooklyn are very safe for visitors, with the exception of certain neighborhoods like Crown Heights, Vinegar Hill, and Fort Green. In Crown Heights, for example, there has been a 200% increase in rapes and a 50% increase in robberies. Thankfully, other sex crimes and felony assaults are down in the last 12 months.
Brooklyn continues to have problems with motor vehicle accidents. In 2022, it had the most car accidents and the most fatal crashes of any NYC borough. It accounted for 35% of injury accidents (over 12,800) that year.
Check out Brooklyn accident attorney for more information.
Stay Safe While Driving on Brooklyn Roads
Brooklyn has a high rate of car crashes. That means you should take extra precautions while driving through the borough.
Be aware of one-way roads and do not accidentally travel the wrong way on such streets. Observe the speed limits and pay attention to traffic signals. Watch out for pedestrians, especially those who cross the street outside of a crosswalk. Perhaps most importantly, avoid distracted driving, including texting or using the phone while driving.
Stay Safe While Using Public Transit and Taxis
Subway stations tend to be crime hotspots, with busier stations like Penn Station on 34th Street a good example. Don’t be afraid to use the subway but do be more aware of your personal safety and keep your belongings close, especially at night.
You can prioritize your safety on subways in a couple of ways. First, avoid distractions. That means minimizing the use of cell phones, earphones/music, and other distractions that might take away your ability to quickly respond to a threat. Second, consider riding in a subway car that has other passengers. Generally, there is safety in numbers. Third, avoid taking the subway late at night, if possible
Taxis are a convenient way to get around. Licensed taxis are heavily regulated but as in most large cities, there are always fake taxis touting for fares. The trouble with a fake taxi is that you’ll be overcharged, and they will not abide by regulations for taxis.
Always check that a taxi is legit before you jump in. Official taxicabs have number plates that start with T and end with C. There may also be the letters ‘TLC’ under the number. If you can’t spot the medallion on the hood of the cab, it’s likely a fake cab.
Protect Yourself from Muggings
The risk of becoming a victim of a violent crime in Brooklyn is 1 in 184. Mugging is a problem in Brooklyn, although reports of robbery are down overall across NYC, with 1280 robberies in 2022 compared to 1396 in 2021.
To stay safe from muggings, you should remain vigilant while exploring the borough. You should stick to well-lit streets with other pedestrians, ideally ones with a police presence. Likewise, steer clear of the more dangerous neighborhoods, especially at night. You should also avoid using headphones and other distractions that might affect your ability to defend yourself, run away, or yell for help.
Be Alert to Pickpockets in Brooklyn
Pickpockets are extremely active in Brooklyn. Hapless tourists are a prime target for a pickpocket. Anyone wandering around taking photos or staring at a map app stands out among the local residents.
Serial pickpockets often hang around in busy subway stations, where they use distraction and the art of blending in to steal wallets, purses, and expensive cell phones. Keep your belongings close at all times when using the subway and moving through crowds on busy sidewalks.
You can also take extra precautions by keeping your wallet in one of the front pockets of your pants or the inside pocket of your jacket or vest. If you carry a handbag, you should hang the strap across your shoulder. These precautions will make it more difficult for thieves to grab your wallet or handbag, either forcefully or secretly.
What to Do If You Are Attacked or Pickpocketed
If you are in a car accident or are involved in another personal injury incident, you may incur medical bills and other damages. In such cases, you may have legal options against the party who injured you. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights.