Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Police cruisers seen in Porter Square. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Preliminary crime numbers for the past year became available Monday, showing an overall increase in incidents of 8 percent over 2019, with violent crimes down but property crimes up – tempered by the fact that 2019 saw the lowest rate of crime in the city in more than 60 years, police said.

Though numbers may change as data is confirmed, an unofficial breakdown shows 2,421 serious crimes reported in the city through Dec. 28, which is 174 more than the previous year. “When measured against the five-year average, a slight 2 percent rise in the crime index has been registered,” according to the month’s Bridgestat crime report. Serious crimes include such things as murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft.

“A deeper analytical dive” into the totals show violent crimes down 3 percent, with nine fewer incidents from the previous year, police said. But property crime totals for 2020 compared with the previous year “reflect a sharp escalation” of 9 percent, to 2,142 from 1,959, or an additional 183 additional incidents.

An arrest was made in the year’s lone homicide, police noted. The fatal daylight stabbing of a homeless man around Green Street and Sidney Place, Cambridgeport, on April 14 led to charges against Jose Bermudez, 55, after he was found April 23 in Allston. Bermudez continues to be held without bail. It was the first homicide reported in Cambridge since January 2019 and ended up being the only homicide reported for the year.

The city had also seen a “remarkable streak of 27 months without a bank robbery,” which ended when a robber hit twice around Thanksgiving.

The seven reported gunshot incidents in 2020 – there were no victims from any – was down three from the previous year. Five were concentrated in The Port neighborhood; one in May was reported in North Cambridge, and the final incident of the year was Nov. 1 along Memorial Drive in Area II.

The full preliminary report is here.