Yale University has had a higher number of reported burglaries than Harvard University over the past three years even though campus police have enacted new tactics to try to prevent property crimes.
Reported burglaries have fluctuated in past years between 2013 and 2015 at Yale University. In 2013, there were 52 reported burglaries, compared to 33 in 2014 and 69 in 2016, according to the Yale Police Department. Harvard’s Cambridge, Massachusetts campus had 30 burglaries in 2013, 40 in 2014 and 43 in 2015, the Harvard Police Department reports.
In New Haven, Connecticut, a recent report by the website Neighborhood Scout shows an annual rate of 5,435 reported property crimes compared to 3,549 in Cambridge. The annual property crime rate in New Haven is 41.7 and 32.15 in Cambridge, the site said.
Marisol Dahl, a 2015 Yale graduate, said that she’s always felt safe at Yale when she has taken adequate precautions.
“I think as long as you’re smart about safety, there isn’t a huge need to worry,” Dahl said.
She has, however, heard about other students getting their dorms broken into or being robbed.
“A friend in my residential college was mugged on the street, right outside the gates of her dorm,” she said. “Another friend was living on the first floor of his dorm building and had his computer stolen.”
The Yale police say they have put programs in place to prevent burglaries at the university and to ensure student safety.
On the Yale website, officials include some tips to make sure students aren’t victims of burglaries. These include requesting service people to show proper credentials before letting them into apartments and identifying visitors through a window or peephole before opening the door.
There are blue phones all over the campus where students can call police, emergency services, the fire department and any campus number with a push of a button. The blue phones also have cameras so police can see the student who called and their surroundings. There is also the Bulldog Mobile App, which gives university faculty, students and staff members access to the police, location tracking and tips on campus safety.
Yale University security patrols the campus 24 hours a day. It oversees security systems such as the blue phones and escorts, gives safe rides to students to and from places on campus and provides lockout services.
Harvard also has blue phones around its campus and suggests anonymous reporting when people don’t want their identity known. On its website, Harvard advises students to carry their keys in their hand so they can get into their homes or cars quickly.
Steven Catalano, Harvard Police’s spokesman, had advice for students to protect themselves from burglaries.
“Never leave your things unattended, lock your dorms and don’t let people piggyback into your rooms,” Catalano said.
Dahl said that she appreciates the Yale police’s efforts to communicate with students through email about incidents that have occurred and how to prevent crime. She also recognized their large presence on campus, with 89 sworn police officers.
Going forward, she said, “The Yale PD, in collaboration with the Yale administration, might want to take a closer look at how they can reinforce the importance of safety precautions, and building good safety habits among students.”
Anisa Isaac is a student at Appomattox Regional High School, Virginia.