Statistically-speaking, the answer is yes. It’s a lot safer walking in Central Park today than it was in the past.
That’s not to say one should be carefree about it. There are still plenty of ways one can dramatically increase one’s chances of an encounter with a mugger.
I started this post to highlight the fact that the area around Central Park where I grew up is a lot safer today than it was in the 1960s, and why I didn’t include a mugging scene in my young adult adventure series, Central Park Story. However, I ended up looking at theft statistics in not just Central Park, but all of NY State, to see how they lined up with my perception of reality.
In 2013 alone there were only 1458 reported thefts in NY State (including NYC). In 1965, on the other hand, the number was over 253,000!
Those of a more cynical persuasion might be quick to point out that the muggings haven’t diminished. They simply migrated to the financial district downtown. leading to the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer, and hence the richer neighborhoods becoming safer. But it’s still amazing how more overt forms of theft have precipitously dropped over the years.
Is it due to better city management, or is it a by-product of better technology and surveillance? No one seems to have a definitive answer.
One thing is for sure: one can still increase one’s chances of being mugged by doing the wrong things. For this reason, I am including a link to an article that outlines five significant ways to help prevent your ever being mugged yourself!