Aurora overtakes Colorado Springs as 2nd most violent city in Colorado

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DENVER (KDVR) — Pueblo is still the state’s most violent city per capita, but Denver and Aurora produce the lion’s share of violent crime in Colorado.

The pandemic year brought an uptick in violent crime across the nation, and Colorado was no exception. Here in the Centennial State, violent crime increased by 6.52% between 2019 and 2020, with a 29% increase in murder, a 17% increase in aggravated assault and 6.5% increase in robbery.

The bulk of it came from Denver and Aurora, according to a Data Desk analysis.

These two cities combined for 40% of the state’s violent crimes in 2020 – 36% of its murders, 29% of its sex offenses, 41% of its aggravated assaults and 51% of its robberies.

Thirty-three percent of the state’s murders happened in Denver, up from a low of 20% in 2014. The Colorado Bureau of Investigations database only goes back to 2008, but Denver has not charted a higher percentage in the last 12 years.

Denver and Aurora each hold 12% and 7% of the state’s population, respectively. This means for non-sexual violent crime, each city produced roughly twice amount of violent crime as its share of the state’s population, and three times its share in the case of Denver’s murder total.

Denver’s share of Colorado’s violence is perennially the highest in the state, but 2020 saw a switch in second place. For most of the past 12 years, Colorado Springs produced the second-largest share of Colorado’s violent crime. In 2020, Aurora overtook Colorado Springs for second place.

The overall violent crime rate per 100,000 has grown in Aurora as well.

Pueblo is still the state’s most violent city per capita with a population over 100,000 people. The violent crime rate three times Colorado’s at 1,142 violent crimes per 100,000. Aurora is now second with 1,118 violent crimes per 100,000, just ahead of Denver in third.

Aurora’s violent crime rate has doubled in the last five years alone.

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