Low Crime Numbers Have New Yorkers Feeling Comfortable In Central Park After Dark

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This year will go down as one of the most peaceful years in Central Park, but are New Yorkers ignoring the threat of danger after dark?

The NYPD says crime rates continue to fall — prompting people to stay well past sunset.

It’s a sight, many couldn’t even imagine before — late night dog walking, jogging in the dark and women and children alone after sundown, in Central Park.

“By ourselves, we haven’t had any trouble. We haven’t really felt scared,” Joanne Petrovic told CBS 2’s Derrick Dennis.

Times have certainly changed. Who could forget the 1989 rape of the so-called Central Park jogger?

That crime and years of muggings, assaults, etc. made Central Park too dangerous at night.

“There was a time when you could not set a foot the minute it was dark,” said Dominique Milbank. “It’s wonderful.”

The NYPD backed up that feeling of increased safety with real numbers — 17 robberies this year, compared to 37 in 2001 and 731 in 1981.

Murders and rapes are almost unheard of now.

“The most prevalent form of crime in the park, is unattended property that gets taken,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

Benepe credits increased police patrols, but overall, he says there’s just safety in numbers.

“People go where other people are, and if the park is clean, if it’s attractive, there’s great attractions, if it’s beautiful and it feels safe, people will go there,” he said.

And the late night presence shows it — on the roadways, on the trails. even so called blind spots are now just steps away from activity.

“I think there’s more people into running, fitness, more alert. There tends to be more people out,” Yvette Mejia said.

“It’s still New York, and people should be sensible about things, but I think they can take great confidence in the fact that Central Park, and all parks are much safer than they were 10, 20, 30 years ago,” Benepe said.

There is a 1 a.m. curfew in the park and police are urging people to stay in groups or at least in lit areas a night. The new crime numbers are encouraging, but officials say don’t let your guard down.

Do you feel safe in Central Park at night?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…

  • Meme Meyagi

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

  • Angelica

    Soooo…after stating the park is now safe after dark the criminals are out in droves waiting for the idiots who believed that story….

  • DatDude23

    Wasn’t central park occupied by protestors? Would be hard to committ a crime with College students there for weeks.. misleading..

  • Norman Cohen

    This article is very misleading! Yes, without question, during the day, Central Park is beautiful, and fairly safe. I’m sure that looking down on the park late at night from one of the high-rises surrounding the park is breathtaking, and very romantic. But, walking through the park at night is still very, very dangerous — regardless of what the Police statistics say. Aside from the possibility of being mugged — or worse… who knows what demented people might be roaming around. And New York City certainly has it’s fair share of them. However, If that’s not enough to persuade you that it’s not safe, then there’s the issue of all the RATS. Lots and lots of RATS! They’re so brazen, my wife, and I have even seen them roaming around during the day near where children where playing under the watchful gaze of their nannies. And… everyone knows that Rats thrive on garbage, and vegetation. To stay in shape, the rats have all that park to run around in, holes to dig and trees to climb. Unlike all those romantic movies set in Manhattan, showing young couples madly in love, strolling hand-in-hand blissfully through the Park at night — the cold-hard reality is that it’s just night a smart thing to do.

  • Puh-leeze!

    Um, the park is NOT safe after dark. No park is. Anywhere. Don’t let’s be stupid.


    UTNY (United Thugs of New York)

  • Morris Bergen

    New York City’s crime numbers are lower because the City is ILLEGALLY sending its crime to the suburbs.

    Everybody knows that REAL Americans live in suburbs. Therefore, all crime BELONGS in cities. NYC must pay for what it has done to us.

    • Nina

      Real Americans? Living in a city make me no less of an American than you! What have you been smoking, sweetie?

  • joey fom B'hurst

    This is non-sense! If you are a victim of a robbery, usually at night,and can not give a good description of the perp, the case will be classified as lost property.

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