Your Role In Staying Safe

How safe is Harvard's campus compared to other local colleges and to urban campuses in general?

Each year, the HUPD reports three years’ worth of crime statistics to the Department of Education as part of the University’s compliance with the Clery Act (http://www.hupd.harvard.edu/clery-act-statistics).  Instead of comparing Harvard to other campuses, the Department is focused on what is occurring on our campus and what we need to do in partnership with the community to keep our students, faculty, staff, and visitors safe. Reported crime on Harvard’s campus is comparable to other Boston-area schools and the...

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How frequently do people report being followed?

Occasionally, community members report that they feel they were being followed. Community members should trust their instincts and react appropriately to these situations. That could mean changing direction, entering a public location (such as a restaurant or store), relocating to a well-lit or well-traveled location, traveling with a friend or group during late night hours, or calling the police from a phone or one of the BlueLight phones located throughout campus.

Trust your instincts; if something does not feel right, it probably is not. Do not hesitate to call the HUPD at...

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What would you suggest is the best way to handle lone walks through poorly lit areas?

If possible, try to walk with a friend or in a group when traveling through poorly lit areas or during late night and early morning hours. However, if you have no other option and are walking alone, there are things you can do to protect yourself.

There are numerous police assistance phones located at outdoor locations throughout the campus; they have blue lights above them for easy identification. These phones should be used to report suspicious activity, crimes in progress, or any emergency. An HUPD dispatcher will identify the location of the phone being used, and will...

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What is your biggest concern when it comes to safety at Harvard? What is the most common crime that occurs on campus?

The HUPD is concerned about all crime on campus. We are especially concerned about the personal safety of our community members. The vast majority of crime on campus is property crime (95%). Most of the property reported stolen is left unattended in public areas, or in unlocked rooms or offices. The best advice to follow is to never leave property unattended, and to always lock your office or dorm room door.

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Does the HUPD see many thefts of phones and laptops on campus?

Unfortunately, individuals intent on stealing are constantly looking for unattended, easily transportable, and valuable property. The best way to prevent your property from being stolen is to never leave it unattended in a public setting, and always lock your door. Please keep in mind that this includes dorm rooms and offices in secured buildings. Just because the main door to the building is secured, does not mean that your personal room/office is not vulnerable.

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