When it comes to crime in Colorado, it’s a tale of two states. In one group of communities, the incidence of crime, of both the violent and property varieties, is high and getting higher. In the other, the converse is true: crime rates are generally below average, and in most such cities they’ve been trending downward.
ValuePenguin analyzed the FBI’s 2012-2016 crime data for Colorado, focusing less on the rates in respective communities than how much those have changed in the past five years. We limited our analysis to cities with 10,000 residents and more.
Below, we’ve highlighted those that have the most and least positive records of change. There’s also an alphabetical listing of crime rates and their five-year trend lines in the 35 most populous cities in Colorado, along with a ranking of the most improved and most deteriorated cities for both violent crime and property crime.
A few other overall observations about our data findings:
The biggest “changers” have mostly been smaller cities.
With one notable exception, Colorado Springs, the cities where the most change has occurred—positively or negatively—do not include the state’s biggest centers. The 35 cities we analyzed have a population of about 88,000 on average, yet seven of the 10 standout cities for change have populations that are well below that level.
Both crime types have risen or fallen, for those high-change cities.
The cities where crime has worsened have seen both violent crime and property crime move in the same direction. Typically, both crime types have either improved or become worse. In general, per capita change has been higher for property crime, because it’s much more prevalent; consequently, when there is a shift in crime, the absolute numbers for property crime tend to change more than for violent crime.
For Colorado’s biggest cities, a mixed record.
The three most populous centers of all—and Aurora—saw rises in violent crime. The increase for Denver and Colorado Springs was about the state average, but the hike in Aurora was well above that level. In Aurora, property crime rose too, albeit by only a third or so of the average for the state. In Denver and Colorado Springs, by contrast, property crime dropped—and by much more than the state norm for the Springs.