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Cambridge crime totals sinking

Posted by Brock Parker  January 31, 2013 10:50 AM

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Crime statistics in Cambridge during the last 50 years. Graphic courtesy Cambridge Police.

Crime in Cambridge continues to drop, as police said Thursday that the number of serious crimes in 2012 fell by 3 percent, sinking to the lowest mark in almost 50 years.

Violent crimes fell from 436 in 2011 to 414 in 2012, contributing to a trend that has led to an overall drop in crime by 21 percent over the past decade, Cambridge Police said Thursday.

Overall, the number of crimes reported in the city fell from 3,567 in 2011 to 3,478 last year, which is the lowest total in the city since 1963.

“We are proud that crime continued to decline in 2012,” said Cambridge
Police Commissioner Robert C. Haas in a press release announcing the 2012 crime statistics. “But we’re not only focused on the numbers; we realize that a reduction in crime means fewer people are being victimized in our city and that is what is truly important.”

CambCrimeStats2.jpgThe number of murders in the city fell from five in 2011 to one in 2012. The number of rapes stayed steady at 23, while robberies fell from 147 in 2011 to 128 last year. The number of aggravated assaults increased by one from the 2011 total of 261.
Graphic courtesy Cambridge Police.

Property crimes also fell by 2 percent, dropping from 3,131 in 2011 to 3,064 last year, according to police.

Larcenies from a person, commonly referred to as pickpocketing , saw the biggest increase in reported incidents, jumping by 15 percent from the 320 reported in 2011 to 368 reported last year.

Police issued an advisory earlier in January warning residents of the recent up tick in pickpocketing, especially in Harvard Square.

Overall, larcenies remained essentially even with 2011 levels, but burglaries dropped by 4 percent and automobile thefts dropped by 26 percent.

The departments analysis and use of crime data were key factors in the drop in crime, according to Haas.

“We examine every report to find trends in the data which help drive our resources.
By giving our officers this information, they have done an exceptional job of working to break patterns before they are able to fully materialize,” Haas said.

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