Cambridge Police are assigning more officers to Harvard Square in response to reports of increasing violence and complaints by Square stores.
The move comes one week after a man was stabbed in the face in a weekend of violence in the Square.
In addition to the recent violence, Square businesses are complaining about noise and vandalism by teenagers who hang out around the MBTA station. The store owners specifically pointed to teenage punk rockers who in recent years have made the Square their hangout.
"They just look scary...I think they're trouble," said a Square restaurant manager, who asked to remain nameless. "I don't think it's fair to the businesses."
But Cambridge Chief of Police Anthony Paolillo said he had "no problem with the punk rockers...as long as they're orderly."
The cause of the recent violence may have to do with rivalries between the regular Square group and kids from other parts of Cambridge and Boston, store owners said.
"There is some kind of antagonism between some of the groups," said Harvard Chief of Police Paul E. Johnson, who added that he believes the conflict is not along racial lines.
Johnson and Paolillo both refused to specify the nature and extent of the recent violence in the Square and would not say whether the amount of crime and violence has increased recently.
Johnson said that Harvard students have not been involved.
While Square businesses worry about the effect the teenage crowd may have, Lt. Calvin Kantor, executive administrator of the Cambridge Police said, "They're no real problem, more of a nuisance to people...[they are] just hanging around which we aren't going to let them do anymore."
"We're going to beef up the Square tonight with [policemen], and tomorrow night too," Kantor said.