Report: A Mass. city is the 2nd safest in the U.S. for trick-or-treating — for a scary reason

Chamber of Commerce weighed a number of factors in determining where best to grub for candy without fear.

A group of children stand together on a Cambridge porch in October of 1961, when the city was presumably even safer. Herbert Capwell / Boston Globe Photo Archive

Used to be the only good reason to leave town to trick-or-treat was in search of those ever-elusive full-size candy bars. (The opportunity to score a pillowcase full of giant Snickers and Mr. Goodbars was always a good motivation to hoof it toward Winchester, Wellesley, Weston or some other well-heeled “W” town.)

But it turns out there’s another factor worth considering: the safety level of your Halloween surroundings. With that in mind, recently considered a variety of factors to determine the 25 safest trick-or-treating cities in America, over 100,000 population — and a Massachusetts municipality turned up at No. 2 on the list.


It seems that Cambridge, Massachusetts had just the right confluence of elements to notch second place, behind the apparently extremely safe city of Gilbert, Arizona, and ahead of the likes of Stamford, Connecticut (the only other New England city represented, at No. 10), Boulder, Colorado, and Peoria, Arizona. (Peoria, Illinois didn’t even make the list, meaning that notoriously milquetoast community might be freakier than we realized.)

As for why Cambridge finished so high, here’s what the Chamber of Commerce had to say: “Although it’s known for its college town atmosphere, Cambridge landed high on our list due to its low number of pedestrian fatalities and low number of registered sex offenders.” Say what now?

Yes, it’s true, at a mere 13 sex offenders per 100,000 residents, Cambridge is a veritable sex offender desert, apparently. Of course, what’s scary about that statistic is what it says about the cities that didn’t make the list.

(By comparison, the aforementioned Stamford registers a whopping 59 sex offenders per 100,000, presumably still making the top 10 by virtue of its low violent and property crime numbers, and its large number of police officers making sure the sex offenders keep to themselves.)


You can see how Cambridge stacks up the rest of the top 25 below, and read the full results here. Meanwhile, if Halloween safety is your goal, a trip up the Red Line this Oct. 31 may be in order. How safe your T ride will be is another conversation entirely.

What are you giving out for Halloween this year? Answer the survey below, or e-mail [email protected], and we may use your response in a future article.


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