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Burglaries Down, Disciplinary Actions Up Last Year Per Annual Harvard Police Report

A HUPD police cruiser outside Massachusetts Hall.
A HUPD police cruiser outside Massachusetts Hall. By George J Lok
By Isabel M. Kendall, Crimson Staff Writer

The number of on-campus disciplinary actions nearly doubled in 2017 from the previous year, according to Harvard University Police Department’s annual security report released  Monday.

According to the 2017 report, there were 33 reported on-campus rapes and 47 reported cases of on-campus burglaries. The 47 burglary reports represents a significant decrease from 70 reported cases in 2016. HUPD reported 27 and 34 cases of on-campus rapes in 2016 and 2015, respectively.

HUPD spokesperson Steven G. Catalano announced the report’s release — which was accompanied by the University’s annual fire safety report — in an email to University affiliates on Oct. 1.

While there were no on-campus arrests last year, there were 56 cases of on-campus disciplinary action, up from 33 in 2016. Offenses include weapons violations, drug law violations, and alcohol law violations. The 2017 spike in enforcement comes primarily from an increase in drug and alcohol law violations, which increased from 32 to 56 from 2016 to 2017.

The annual security report, titled “Playing it Safe,” is published by HUPD and includes “information about the HUPD, how to report a crime, HUPD’s crime prevention programs, substance abuse, sensitive crimes, emergency notifications, and other important information about security and HUPD services on campus,” Catalano wrote.

The report outlines various crime awareness tips, guidelines for reporting crimes to HUPD, and information on the University’s crime policies, which encompasses hate crimes, harassment, drug and alcohol offenses, and missing persons.

Consistent with last year’s previous report, there is a stark difference in the crime rates between Harvard’s Longwood and Cambridge campuses. While the Longwood Medical Area campus in Boston only saw 5 total criminal offenses in 2017, the Cambridge campus saw 191.

The University Environmental Health and Safety Department publishes the annual fire safety report, which was also released on Monday. This report includes fire safety polices, evacuation procedures, and fire statistics.

According to the data released in the fire safety report, no fires occurred in Harvard undergraduate dorms in 2017. However, the report detailed two small fires that occured in Harvard University housing, which is largely inhabited by graduate students and researchers.

The fire safety report also outlines various fire safety training techniques, resources for students, as well as data showing the fire safety measures installed in each one of Harvard’s buildings.

—Staff writer Isabel M. Kendall can be reached at isabel.kendall@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @IsabelMKendall.

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