Arvada violent crime has ticked up in five years, concentrated in Olde Town area

Data Desk

DENVER (KDVR) — Olde Town Arvada is far from being a crime hub, but the retail district where Officer Gordon Beesley was shot has a higher violent crime concentration that surrounding areas during a time of overall rising crime rates.

Officials say the shooter in the June 21 incident set out with the goal to harm police. KDVR investigative reporter Rob Low has learned the shooter even wrote a 4-page note expressing ant-police rhetoric.

If the shooter’s goal was indeed to contact and harm police, data says Olde Town Arvada would be the logical choice.

LexisNexis Community Crime Maps populated with Arvada Police Department data show crime in heavier concentration along Wadsworth Blvd., running from I-70 to the neighborhoods just north of Olde Town.

Each of three maps above show the robberies, aggravated assaults and homicides from June to June in the years 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21.

The mile radius with Olde Town Arvada as its center is roughly one-tenth the city’s landmass. Depending on the year, however, it holds between one-third and half of the city’s violent crime.

Crime rates have gone up, as well.

Colorado’s seventh-largest city does not have the same volume of of crime as denser urban metro areas. Its violent crime rate per 100,000 for 2020 is only one-third that of Denver’s.

Still, those numbers have been rising in the last decade.

Colorado Bureau of Investigations classifies “violent crime” to include homicide, aggravated assault, robbery and non-consensual sex crimes. Data Desk calculated crime rates per 100,000 in two different ways, one is all for all violent crimes the other excludes violent crimes that were sexual in nature.

CBI’s database does not include 2021 crime statistics past May but using the rate for the first few months Data Desk was able to project 2021 numbers.

The non-sexual violent crime rate in Arvada has been rising since 2015. In 2015, the rate was about half the 2020 rate of 206.55 violent crimes per 100,000.

The rate for all violent crimes shows a similar trend. Rates rose from 177.63 per 100,000 in 2015 to 284.48 in 2019, falling slightly the following year.

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