Most people when they hear about Melrose and that it's located in the South Bronx their first thoughts are of murders galore. But NYPD statistics say the contrary. So far in 2009 there have only been 2 murders in Melrose compared to 6 murders on the Upper East Side/Lower East Harlem area between East 96th and East 110th Streets and 3 in the East Harlem area between East 110th and and East 125th Street for a total of 9 murders in 2009 in the general East Harlem area. Also right across the river in Harlem a total of 9 murders compared to 2 in Melrose have been reported. Don't believe it? Check it out for yourself on the New York City Interactive Homicide Map by the New York Times.
People also measure "safe neighborhoods" by whether or not Yellow Taxi Cabs from Manhattan venture into said neighborhoods late at night. Last Thursday while I was taking pictures of local 24 hour eateries, I snapped pictures of 3 cabs in the general neighborhood in a span of 5 minutes...so next time you're downtown late at night and want to take a cab instead of the subway, rest assured that the driver will not balk at your request and will gladly take you there. (FYI when coming home to Melrose late at night in a cab, tell the driver to take Madison straight up over the Madison Avenue Bridge and make a left onto 3rd Avenue in The Bronx. This route is faster than the FDR and a little cheaper as well)