101608ftgreene.jpgIs the economic free fall already leading to higher crime and degentrifying neighborhoods, as previously speculated? Brooklyn's 88th precinct, which includes Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, is reporting that so far this year robberies have spiked 7.6 percent and burglaries are up 18.6 percent. And a cardboard box of bloody human remains discovered on fancy Washington Park isn't exactly putting residents at ease; one of them tells The Brooklyn Paper, “This hasn’t happened since the 1970s. Back then, I came out of my building one morning and found a body hanging from a lightpost."

Other residents believe crime stats are actually much higher because it takes hours to file a police report, which discourages some from registering an official complaint. So as a counterpoint to the NYPD stats, the Society for Clinton Hill has set up a map on its website for individuals to post details about local crimes. But the group also urges those who post incidents on the map to also fill out a police report.

And Councilwoman Letitia James appeared with Brooklyn D.A. Charles Hynes and local officers at a community meeting last night to discuss the crime wave. The Councilwoman says she's concerned about Pratt students in Clinton Hill being targeted by hoodlums, noting that "walking around with their iPods or computers and texting is not a good idea."

Photo of Fort Greene courtesy Joe Schumacher.