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Mid-Year Report Shows Increase in Crime

By Dudley W. Lamming

The Campus Police mid-year report showed an increase in on-campus incidents and arrests over the first half of this year.

The number of arrests rose from 26 last year to 36 this year, and CPs recorded 1,036 incident calls for the first half of this year, up from last year's 974.

The increase in arrests is a result of better policing, said Chief of Police Anne P. Glavin.

Additionally, officers have been issuing crime prevention notices to students and faculty who are seen leaving property unattended or doors unlocked, she said.

"The number of such warnings has increased due to the increased attention and concern on the part of the officers," Glavin said.

Bicycle thefts up 50 percent

Bicycle thefts during the first half of the year increased by more than 50 percent over last year, from 54 to 86.

"Bicycle thefts have been a chronic problem in the area - in all of Cambridge and at Harvard," Glavin said.

To deal with the growing problem, the CPs have formed a new bicycle theft task force, which has been "very successful," Glavin said. The force arrested four people for bicycle theft this August.

Bicycle owners should remember to lock up their bicycles and be particularly careful during the second half of the year, traditionally a time when many more bicycles are stolen, Glavin said.

In 1995, 132 bikes were stolen during the fall term, including some 32 bikes in October alone.

Safe Ride usage falls from peak

The ridership of Safe Ride has decreased sharply this year. After reaching a peak ridership of over 96,000 in the first half of 1994, ridership is now just over 70,000 for the first half of this year.

The significant slide in usage occurred after Safe Ride was outsourced to Standard Parking, the private company that has managed MIT's five-year-old safety shuttle service since last January. However, Glavin insisted that the drop was simply a coincidence.

Decreased usage "just happened around the time we outsourced," she said. Safe Ride "is still a heavily used system."

The decline in usage could also be the result of differences in record keeping, she said. Ridership also may have levelled off because of wait time and a lack of recent improvements.

"A standard [Safe Ride] loop is 20 to 25 minutes, and we may have reached a tolerance level," Glavin said.

Larcenies up 10 percent

The number of larcenies rose slightly from 372 to 388 for the first half of this year, but the value of stolen property decreased.

Property valued at $290,071 was stolen during the first six months of the year, down from $303,667 in 1995. However, this drop came after a doubling in larcenies from 1994 to 1995.

"You can't go by the numbers alone," Glavin said. "The number of larcenies remain roughly the same from year to year," even if the value of the stolen property changes, she said.

Theft of computer memoryhas fallen off sharply. Memory chip thefts were a large problem last year. Many people who were victims of computer memory theft would notice that their computers seemingly inexplicably ran much slower than usual. Upon opening up their computers, they would usually discover that most of their computer memory was gone.

Serious crime stays the same

The serious crime level has remained relatively constant for the past several years. This year, there have been seven assaults - six simple and one aggravated. There was one rape, one armed robbery, and no murders reported for the first half of the year.

There have been 56 fire alarm responses, 17 hit-and-run incidents, 14 bomb calls or suspicious packages, nine alcohol-related incidents, four domestic violence reports, and one suicide during the first half of the year.

The CPs handled 1,043 emergency medical services during the first half of the year, according to the report. This number includes medical emergencies and shuttle and ambulance transfers.

In the past six months, only one hate incident has been handled by CPs, down from four by this time last year.