Police Release Crime Report

Cambridge Rate Lowest in 30 Years

The Cambridge Police Department's annual report, released Wednesday, discloses the lowest crime rate in Cambridge in 30 years.

The report documents decreases in crimes ranging from domestic assault to auto theft.

The relatively low crime rate is "tremendous," said Detective Frank Pasquarello, public information officer of the Cambridge Police Department.

The report documented a 34 percent decrease in residential break-ins and a 42 percent decrease in auto theft in Harvard Square in 1994.

However, there was a 21 percent increase in street robberies, according to the report.


Throughout the city of Cambridge, domestic assaults fell nearly 50 percent last year. And there was a 26 percent decline in assaults, the largest decline in over 20 years.

There were 276 robberies in 1994, a 9 percent increase over 1993. But this makes only the second time in 30 years that fewer than 300 robberies were reported in Cambridge.

Raymond T. Santilli of the Planning, Budget and Personnel Office of the Cambridge Police Department admonished yesterday that this trend might not continue.

"Crime is not always going to go down," he said.

However, Santilli said an increase in reported crimes is not necessarily a bad thing.

The more often people report crimes to the police department, the greater the evidence that they trust the department, Santilli said.

Pasquarello said increased trust in the police department is one of the leading factors in this year's crime decrease.

"When people trust the police department, they are more inclined to [reportcrimes]," he said.

In the past three years, the police departmenthas added several new programs to improve theefficiency of the department in an effort to earnthe respect of Cantabridgians, Pasquarello said.

For example, the department instigated "staffwalks," in which members of the police departmentgo into a different Cambridge neighborhood eachweek and talk to its residents about theirconcerns