Students, faculty, and staff are strongly encouraged to report all criminal and suspicious activity to the HUPD in an accurate and timely manner. Harvard community members should remember that reports may be made on behalf of another, when, for example, the victim of a crime does not elect to or is unable to make such a report. Timely reporting of information assists us in intervening in potential criminal activity and apprehending suspects. Please do not delay in calling. Criminal offenses should be reported to HUPD promptly so that the Department can determine whether a Timely Warning notice is necessary and so that the information can be included in the annual disclosure of crime statistics.
To reach the HUPD in an emergency, call 617-495-1212. Community members are strongly encouraged to store 617-495-1212 into their cell phone speed dial list.
If a community member calls 911 from an on-campus phone, the call will go to either the Cambridge Police or the Boston Police depending on their location.
If a community member calls 911 from an on-campus phone, the call will go to either the Cambridge Police or the Boston Police depending on their location. As the HUPD maintains a good working relationship with both departments, they will generally inform the HUPD of the 911 call. Community members who call 911 from a cell phone will be connected with the Massachusetts State Police, which then will transfer the call to the appropriate jurisdiction, unless the incident occurred on state-owned property (the area around the Charles River and the Fenway).
Reports of criminal and suspicious activity also may be made to Campus Security Authorities, such as deans of students or Title IX coordinators.
What Is Suspicious?
Signs of behavior that might be suspicious:
- A person trying to enter a residence without the proper access card
- A person running and looking about furtively, as if he or she were being watched or chased
- A stranger carrying property at an unusual hour or location, especially if the items are computer or other electronic equipment, office machinery, or a locked bicycle
- A person going door-to-door in an office building or a residential area
- Any person forcibly entering a locked vehicle or building
- Transactions being conducted from vehicles, especially near schools or parks. You may be witnessing an illegal drug sale or sale of stolen property.
- One or more persons sitting in a parked car closely scanning the area
- A person (especially a juvenile or female) being forced into a vehicle
- A person exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms
- Unusual noises, including gunshots, screaming, sounds of fighting, barking dogs, or anything suggesting foul play, danger, or illegal activity
It is important to remember that people aren't suspicious, behavior is. When in doubt, call! If you witness any suspicious activity, call the HUPD immediately at 617-495-1212.