Which Is More Dangerous, Newburgh or Beacon?


Continuing on yesterday’s theme (the Brooklyn-Beacon-Newburgh trajectory): we were curious to see this crime map from Trulia. Is it the most reputable of sources? No, but the New York State Attorney General’s office puts out reports far less frequently, and it seems Trulia gets regular inputs of local crime info. (However, as many have noted, this map could simply be the result of the Newburgh PD not reporting their crimes!)

Still, it’s rather a startling discrepancy between them, don’t you think? Seven calls in Newburgh and, across the river, hundreds? Even if it were true, there’s the issue of quality versus quantity. Newburgh’s seven crimes included two shooting/stabbings; a vehicle pursuit, a perp search/chase, dispute and assault.

And in Beacon, there were almost no violent crimes: noise complaints, criminal mischief, intoxicated subjects, disorderly groups, larceny, harassment, drug activity, burglary, identity theft, fight, forged instrument, dispute, domestic, shots fired, trespass, robbery, missing person, fraud, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, attempted burglary.

We’re not beating up on Beacon — we love it, too. But it’s fascinating to see how Beacon is presented as, well, a beacon, instead of a complicated town still trying to claw its way out of rust belt woes. Is it great marketing, proximity to the MetroNorth, or just that Dia was willing to set up shop there when it was still in serious distress?

Newburgh’s crimes were far, far fewer (and, Newburghers say, targeted against a select few), at least according to this map, but they were much worse crimes — no stabbings or assaults in Beacon, but plenty of everything else. So can we tell from this map which is safer? According to the comments, this map is baloney!

[Addenda, in reaction to many emails and comments, in orange.]

Category: Beacon, Newburgh, Top Stories, upstate new york

By: lisa | 6 November 2013 01:00 PM | 14 Comments

14 Responses

  1. Dachs3 says:

    That is a very interesting map. I’ve been doing a lot of research on Newburgh lately as I’m looking for an ideal place to start/open a small manufacturing business (food and bev industry). Newburgh gets such terrible press due to it’s history of drug/gang/other crimes. However, there seems to be real potential there. The one thing that I can’t quite understand is why taxes are so high compared to other towns nearby. And in my research I haven’t found anything that would suggest that anyone is trying to do anything about that. To me, that’s a no-brainer — if you truly want to revitalize and jump-start economic growth (which Newburgh desperately needs), you need to provide economic incentives that support those activities. I know about different organizations, such as River of Opportunities and those are great, but what is the local government doing? Can anyone shed light on that? Thanks.

    • lisa says:

      You are completely right. You’ll see an article in this Sunday’s Times about Newburgh–the number of abandoned properties and the loss of industry means that they city has few ways to collect taxes other than through property. So, make your voice heard. More people would give Newburgh a shot if it the taxes were more reasonable. But, despite this map of crime over a few months in Newburgh and Beacon, there are scary parts of Newburgh, and it has huge hurdles to leap over that Beacon has already surmounted. This is a strange crime map, but one we found worth sharing.

  2. Cher Vick says:

    This is totally unrelated, but check out this little kitchen makeover in Beacon!


  3. hilary says:

    Here’s a link to the Exemptions that City of Newburgh offers, there are quite a few that are intended to stimulate revitalization activities

    Here’s the Planning Department page with Economic Development staff contacts, they should be able to guide/direct you to appropriate resources/programs that may work for your particular project

    Good luck!

  4. frenchiedog says:

    Thanks for sharing the info Hilary!

  5. CofG says:

    Hmmm…something’s off about that Trulia data – and unless I am missing something, it looks potentially misleading. Here’s another data set that seems to tell a different story:

    Am I missing something?

    Just from personal experience – we ‘feel’ way safer roaming around downtown Beacon than downtown Newburgh (Waterfront and Balmville excluded).

  6. Anne Colbert Forman says:

    It was a. Sad surprise to see this post about crime onBeacon and Newburgh.I have. lived in Beacon for 32 years and the town was never ” in distress”. It is a small city and has all the problems of any place where people live close to their neighbors. It has improved a lot and the quality of life gets bettra d better. But it was never unsafe, my family and i never lived in fear. I walked around Beacon pushing a stroller to the library , the stores, the parks etc. all through the eighties . We had wonderful neighbors and friends too. Lots of pieces to the puzzle that make up the great improvements here. For years our biggest problem was the rumor mills that pumped out negativity about Bean. People were afraid because they believed the nonsense. Do not start it again. I always felt that when outsiders asked me about crime in Beacon they were assuming that because we are a diverse community we must have
    Ots of crime….in other words RACISM

    • lisa says:

      Hi, Anne. It could be that people asked about crime because of racism (same would go for Newburgh, then, which is mostly black and Hispanic), but we’ve heard from many, many Beaconites about how bad it was even 10 or 15 years ago. We’re skeptical of this map, too, but there’s very little violent crime, as you can see from the stats, and property crime is rampant even in the nicest parts of town–often in the best parts. What better people to steal from than the wealthy, after all?

      • Anne Colbert Forman says:

        There was not a problem of ViIOLENT crime EVER in Beacon. Yes over the past 32 years there have been some murders. Sometimes none for years in a row. If check the facts you will see that there were murders in Pleasant Valley, Town of Fishkill etc. in the same time period. But no one would ever say they were worried about Fishkill’scrime problem.
        Beacon’s problems were : littering, loitering , loud music, cars speeding etc. Nuisance crimes that are always worse in a more densely populated community.
        My mother lived in Fishkill and every year she would have her Halloween pumpkins smashed in 13 years of living at 18 Oak St, which is 2 blocks from Main St. did we ever e pertinence that. Car alarms going off in the middle of the night, were annoying .people throwing out garbage out of car windows was our worst problem.
        Please, call the police and check the Facts. Was it safe to hang out on Main st. At 2 am? NO! But would you have wanted to walk down a lonely country road at 2am either.
        People love to talk , please do not repeat rumors. You have an obligation to fact check. You could really hurt both Beacon and Newburgh if you don’t.
        I wish Newburgh well. Because they are larger then Beacon it will be a little harder to turn things around. But it Has so much potential for a revival.
        Let me make it clear. I love the improvements in Beacon.
        The new people have brought energy and enthusiasm to this little city. But it is hard to get the reporting of the Beacon experience right apparently. We ere never as down and out as the media depicted us and truly we are not as chic as some report now. This is a LIVING community it is not Disneyland and we are not Stepford robots here. So yeah, there will be crime. Ok ?
        You might wonder why I am so upset, well I saw first hand the damage the rumor mill did to this town and I can not tell you how angry it makes me. When my middle daughter was at Our Lady of Lourdes high school in Poughkeepsie a girl from Pawling was not allowed to come to our house because of the alleged crime here, the mother came down herself and was shocked to see how nice our house on oak st.was. This was around 1993
        Now I can already here the comment that of course our kids were in Catholic school so what do we know. It was difficult decision to send our kids to Catholic school. We went to Catholic schools so it was our family tradition. Howeve. We sometimes still question that decision. beacon High offered wonderful music and theater programs our children would have loved.
        Before the attacks on the school system start , friends with. Children the same ages as our children who we t all through the Beacon city schools did very well. They went to colleges that include, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Emerson Vassar etc. yup , back in the so called dark ages of Beacon

  7. lisa says:

    Hey, Anne–that’s just what we’re saying! Newbugh has violent crime, and Beacon doesn’t.

  8. lisa says:

    Also, both Anne and Colin have rightly pointed out that the stats may be misleading, so we’ll do a follow up post comparing stats from other sources. Thanks for that!

  9. Abel Fernandez says:

    I am uncomfortable with the Trulia data. If you are interested in Beacon or Newburgh (or anywhere) as a place for a primary home or second home just go to the police department and ask them about crime rates, categories of crimes, and how those rates/categories are distributed across neighborhoods. That way there is no guess work going on.

  10. [...] mean to fall into the trap where we put up incendiary blog post titles (as we did last week in this post about crime in Newburgh and Beacon — which, naturally, had Beaconites upset and rightly [...]

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