With a recent holdup at the Queens Zoo and hot rodders speeding at a Meadow Lake parking lot, crime at Flushing Meadows Park has been in the spotlight lately.
But talk to Parks Department and NYPD officials and you’d never know that Queens’ premier greenspace has been rated the worst for crime out of 30 parks throughout the city.
Since earlier this year, the NYPD has been mandated to compile quarterly crime statistics on parks over one acre. That would total about 100, but Geoffrey Croft, who heads NYC Park Advocates, a city parks watchdog group, said the police are taking too long to add the 70 additional facilities. Nevertheless:
“Flushing Meadows, Central Park and Randall’s Island Park accounted for more than 60 percent of the crimes in all the parks,” Croft said. “They are mostly grand larceny and robbery.”
Deputy Inspector Ron Leyson, commanding officer of the 110th Precinct, which has the main jurisdiction of Flushing Meadows, explained that the grand larcenies include theft of valuables left in cars, unattended purses in public spaces and from lockers at the Aquatic Center.
He noted that year-to-date overall crime is down 13 percent in Flushing Meadows, although there has been a 6 percent increase in felonies — more serious crimes — usually involving assault.
One case involved an intoxicated man who assaulted a police officer during a game at Citi Field.
According to the NYPD park statistics, Flushing Meadows had 27 crimes in three months: two robberies, four felony assaults, 15 grand larcenies and six auto thefts.