Serious Crime in Cambridge Hits 50-Year Low

Serious crime in Cambridge reached a 50-year low during 2013, according to the Cambridge Police Department’s annual crime review, which was released last week.  In each of the past three years, serious crime in the city has dropped2013 saw an 8 percent decline from 2012.

In a press release, Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert C. Haas applauded the news.

“The men and women of the Cambridge Police Department, our public and private partners, and the citizens of our city should take great pride in their individual and collective efforts to make our city a safe and healthy community,” he said.

The term “Serious Crime,” as used by the Cambridge Police Department, refers to any reported crime that falls under the FBI Part I Crime Index.  According to the FBI’s website, the Part I Crime Index refers to crime in eight categories: “murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault...burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.” The FBI discontinued its own use of the Crime Index in June 2004

Haas emphasized the importance of focusing on a wider swath of crime in the released statement.

“While the FBI Part I Crime Index is an important measure of crimeand represents nearly 300 fewer victims of serious crime in Cambridge this yearwe continue to focus on a much broader range of social harm issues to prevent the victimization of people in Cambridge and improve the overall quality-of-life in this community,” he said.

Part I Crime is divided into two categories. 10.2 percent of the serious crime reported in 2013 was violent crime, while 89.8 percent qualified as property crime. Violent crime in 2013 dropped 21 percent from 2012.

The Cambridge Police Department could not be reached for comment for this story, and a spokesperson for the Harvard University Police Department declined to comment.

Staff writer Daniel R. Levine can be reached at  Follow him on Twitter @danielrlevine.