First, let's start by defining the different neighborhoods in Cambridge:
Most off-campus students live in Riverside, Mid-Cambridge, and Cambridgeport, roughly in that order. The police web site has multi-page reports detailing each particular neighborhood, so refer to it for more details. For now, let's just look at general trends.
Although detailed, the CPD crime analysis is 2 years behind. So for now the best we can do is look at the 2007 annual reports.
One of the most common crimes in Cambridge is GPS thefts. In 2007 there were 779 reported cases. That's over 2 GPS thefts a day, 365 days a year. Personally, the main hassle of a GPS theft is not just the loss of the GPS, but getting your window smashed and the time associated with dealing with the crime, the insurance company, and repairig the vehicle and the mess they leave behind. Most of us are pretty GPS savvy and remove the GPS from the windshield when we park our car in questionable places. However, the thieves are also pretty savvy. From what everybody told me, if they just see a power cable in the car, a suction cup, or even suction cup marks on the windshield, then the thieves will assume you have the device somewhere in your car and will break in (if your car is targeted). There are solutions around these problems, but the point is, if you love your car, off-street parking is a major consideration.
So all the above was 2007 data. I searched for 2008 data and the CPD have data from the first 3 quarters posted (see below). You can study the numbers for yourself, but a snapshot summary of crimes per day in 2008 show:
- Over 1 residential burglary per day
- Over 2 thefts per day from a car
- About 2 car thefts every 3 days