NYPD data release-compressed Photo: Andre Gustavo Stumpf/Flickr

The New York Police Department recently released crime data from the first three quarters of 2015. What makes this release especially significant is it’s the first time the NYPD has released incident-level data, meaning people can now find out the location and time of every reported felony in an area. Past releases, including this interactive Crime Map, only offered aggregate data.

Analyst/blogger Ben Wellington published some interesting takeaways from the NYPD’s release to his iQuantNY site. A Visiting Assistant Professor in the City & Regional Planning program at the Pratt Institute, Wellington publishes pieces to his site that “tell the story” of NYC Open Data.

Here are a few of his takeaways (read his entire post here):

1. The afternoon is the City’s most dangerous time.

More crimes occur between 2pm to 5pm than 2am to 5am, and the difference is greatest on weekdays. High instances of burglary/robbery in these times push the overall number up. Wellington also notes that the most dangerous hour of the entire week is between 4am and 5am on Sunday mornings, likely because that’s when NYC bars close.

2. The most dangerous place isn’t where you’d expect.

Wellington used Neighborhood Tabulation Areas to rank neighborhood safety based on the number of felonies per person in each area. While it is true that neighborhoods considered dangerous by conventional wisdom (like parts of Harlem and the Bronx) rank in the top tier, Midtown South (home of some of the City’s most luxurious housing) has the highest number of burglaries, robberies, and murder in all of New York City. That said, Midtown South has a lower population compared to most, so a few data points could be skewing the overall impression.

3. Murder and Assault are more common in less affluent neighborhoods.

Despite the Midtown South case, the least affluent neighborhoods have much more violent crime. In the bottom 20 percent of neighborhoods, the number of murders per person is 1.91 times higher than the city average, and the number of assaults is 1.79 times higher. On the other hand, in the top 20 percent of neighborhoods, the number of murders and assaults per person are about half as high as the city average.

Mayor de Blasio recently called 2015 the “safest year in the City’s history,” but Wellington thinks more data needs to be released to corroborate that claim. He hopes for the release to every year of crime data, not just three quarters of 2015.

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