The Cambridge Police Department reported the lowest crime total in more than 50 years on Wednesday, with officers responding to 2,257 serious crimes in 2019, the lowest number since 1968 and a five percent decrease compared to 2018.
Crime in Cambridge has experienced a steady downward trend since 1990, per a department press release. The number of registered incidents has decreased every year since 2010 — except for 2018. This is the sixth straight year in which reported crime totals have remained below 3,000 incidents.
Serious crimes comprise violent crimes — including murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault — and property crimes — including burglary, larceny, and auto theft. Violent crime decreased by nine percent and property crime decreased by five percent compared to 2018.
Police Commissioner Branville G. Bard Jr. said he was “particularly pleased” with the reduction in gun violence last year. No fatal shootings were reported, and the number of non-fatal shooting victims reached a five-year low.
Bard credited officers and city residents in achieving historically low crime numbers.
“I am very proud of these results, which reflect that Cambridge is safer today than it has been at any point in recent history,” he said in the press release. “I want to commend our Officers, who are deeply committed to working with the community to ensure that Cambridge is a safe and welcoming city.”
Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale commended the department’s dedication to public safety in the press release.
“This achievement is a reflection of the department’s strong leadership and the police force’s commitment to the community,” DePasquale said in the release.
“It also reflects the department's deep commitment to their community partners, and the City Council’s consistent support of our recommendations for additional resources for the Cambridge Police Department,” he added.
Compared to other cities in Massachusetts, Cambridge has historically experienced less per-capita crime in every category except larceny, according to the CPD’s 2018 annual crime report. According to the report, the city’s large business and education populations are popular targets for thieves.
—Staff writer Charles Xu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @charles_xu_27.