Cambridge, New Haven comparable in crime

New Haven has a reputation as a crime-ridden city, but Cambridge has some crime problems of its own.

On Nov. 13, the sixth armed robbery in two weeks on or close to the Harvard campus occurred, the Harvard Crimson reported Sunday. A Cambridge man shot at a police officer and attempted to rob three Harvard freshmen in the incident. The man — later identified as Kai Robert Kruger, 21 — was arrested and charged with armed robbery and assault with attempt to murder early Saturday morning, the article added.

Following the armed robbery of a non-Harvard affiliate last Thursday, the Harvard Police Deparment augmented patrol and “increased visibility” around the campus, the Crimson reported.

HPD spokesman Steven Catalano could not be reached for comment.

Despite the recent spate of robberies, Cambridge saw a 23 percent decrease in total robbery in 2010 as of October 23. Bike thefts, however, have risen 51 percent this year, to a total of 346 reported incidents.

Still, Cambridge police spokesman Dan Riviello said that crime in Cambridge is at a 40-year low. He attributed the drop to “police presence, citizen awareness, and the relationships that we have between other local departments and universities that allow for information sharing and cooperation that serves to mitigate crime and bring perpetrators to justice.”

As for the influx of Yale students heading to Cambridge for a good time over the weekend, Riviello said that there have not been many incidents surrounding the football game in the past, but added that CPD officers assigned to the Harvard Square area will be visible and vigilant.

Riviello recommended that visiting Yale students “use their best judgment and be aware of their surroundings,” and call 911 if they see anything suspicious.

Harvard’s security and safety organization is similar to Yale’s: a full-service university police department that works closely with the local police department to safeguard the university and local communities. There is not, however, a separate Harvard department of security like Yale’s. Instead, Harvard contracts guards from a separate company, according to a 2009 Crimson article.

Correction: November 19, 2010

An earlier version of this article misstated the population of New Haven. The article also unfairly compared the crime rates of the City of Cambridge to that of all of New Haven County and falsely claimed the comparison was between Cambridge and the City of New Haven. The News regrets the errors.

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