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Is Yonkers Safe? An In-Depth Look at Safety in City

Yonkers, New York has long held a reputation as one of the safest cities in the state and country. However, recent data shows Yonkers may be backsliding when it comes to protecting its residents from harm. This article will explore the realities of safety in Yonkers using the latest crime statistics and quality of life metrics.

Violent Crime Rates in Yonkers

To know the answer to the question “Is Yonkers Safe”, we have to look at the crime rate. According to The Yonkers Ledger, the violent crimes like murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, Yonkers maintains relatively low rates compared to other cities its size.

  • The violent crime rate in Yonkers is 366 incidents per 100,000 residents. This is nearly half the national average of 398 per 100,000.
  • Homicides in Yonkers average around 13 per year. With a population near 210,000, this puts the murder rate at 6 per 100,000 residents. The national homicide rate is 6.9 per 100,000.
  • Yonkers averaged around 140 robberies and 130 aggravated assaults per 100,000 people in recent years. Both are below the national rates.

Property Crime in Yonkers

Where Yonkers struggles more is with property crimes like burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft.

  • The property crime rate in Yonkers is 1,519 incidents per 100,000 residents. This is significantly higher than the national rate of 1,117 per 100,000.
  • Burglaries and thefts make up the bulk of Yonkers property crimes. There were over 1,000 burglaries and 8,500 thefts reported in 2020.
  • Motor vehicle thefts averaged around 550 per year recently. That’s a rate of 261 per 100,000 compared to the national rate of 246.

Safety Issues Unique to Yonkers

Beyond traditional crime statistics, Yonkers struggles with a few unique public safety issues:

  • Traffic and Pedestrian Safety: Yonkers has a high rate of traffic fatalities, with around 18 per year. Dangerous roads and limited walkability put residents at risk.
  • Gang Activity: While less severe today, gangs are still active in Yonkers. This can lead to increased violent crime in certain neighborhoods.
  • Income Inequality: There is a massive wealth gap in Yonkers, with wealthy sections right alongside impoverished areas. This inequality manifests itself in vastly different crime rates.
  • Proximity to NYC: Being so close to New York City brings additional crime threats from outside gangs and groups into Yonkers neighborhoods.

Recent Crime Trends in Yonkers

Analyzing the last few years of crime data provides insight into the direction Yonkers is heading:

  • Violent Crime: After dropping to historic lows in 2019, violent crime rose again in 2020 and 2021. Murders hit a decade high of 20 in 2020 before dropping back to 13 in 2021.
  • Property Crime: Similarly, property crime fell through 2019 then reversed course. Thefts and motor vehicle thefts increased in 2020 and 2021 compared to pre-pandemic years.
  • Clearance Rates: Arrests and case resolutions have declined as well. In 2021, only 24% of violent crimes and 10% of property crimes were cleared in Yonkers.

How Yonkers Ranks for Safety Nationally

Yonkers has slipped in national safety rankings, indicating issues compared to peer cities:

  • #39 Safest Big City: In Wallethub’s 2022 analysis, Yonkers ranked #39 among 182 large cities for overall safety. It ranked in the bottom half of cities its size.
  • #122 for Financial Safety: Yonkers scored poorly on metrics like unemployment, uninsured populations, and retirement-aged residents in poverty.
  • #45 for Home & Community Safety: Yonkers fared better in categories like violent crimes and traffic fatalities per capita. But still ranked below average for a large city.

Is Yonkers Safe? Breakdown by Neighborhood

General statistics only reveal so much. Looking closer, safety in Yonkers can vary greatly based on neighborhood:

Safer Neighborhoods

  • Northwest Yonkers: Areas near the Hudson River like Getty Square and Ludlow are relatively safe, with median incomes over $100k.
  • Southeast Yonkers: Middle class enclaves like Wakefield, Woodlawn Heights, and Oakland Oval have low violent crime levels.
  • Greystone: One of Yonkers most affluent areas, this neighborhood is extremely safe with median home prices near $1 million.

Less Safe Neighborhoods

  • Southwest Yonkers: The southwest section near the Bronx has higher poverty levels and violent crime rates.
  • Northeast Yonkers: While not as dangerous as the southwest, this area still grapples with gang activity and property crimes.
  • Downtown Yonkers: Like many urban cores, downtown suffers from a higher concentration of assaults, robberies, and thefts.

Tips for Staying Safe in Yonkers

Yonkers residents can take proactive steps to enhance personal safety:

  • Avoid walking alone at night, especially in high crime areas
  • Install video cameras, alarms, and locks to deter break-ins
  • Keep vehicles locked and empty of valuables
  • Use caution at ATMs and avoid flashing cash publicly
  • Report suspicious activity to police through 911 or anonymous tip lines
  • Get to know neighbors and build a sense of community
  • Advocate for improved lighting, sidewalks, and traffic calming measures
  • Stay alert and minimize distractions like phones when in public


Yonkers has seen an increase in crime the last few years but remains one of the safer major cities in America. Violent crime rates sit below the national average, although property crime risks are elevated. Safety does depend heavily on which neighborhood you live in. Like all urban areas, Yonkers has sections that experience higher crime than others.

But citizens and leaders seem engaged in reversing the recent uptick. With proactive policing, community involvement, and addressing root causes like inequality, Yonkers appears on track to restore its standing as one of the safest places to live in New York state.

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