DENVER (KDVR) – Colorado’s struggle with rising crime rates is costing more than just peace of mind.
Colorado policy think tank Common Sense Institute put a dollar figure on the costs of Colorado crime in 2021 in a new report. The report was bipartisan, written by former Republican district attorney George Brauchler and former Democratic district attorney Mitch Morrissey.
In 2021, the state lost $31 billion in medical, mental health, lost economic productivity, property, public services, adjudication and sanctioning, perpetrator work loss and quality of life. This is 12.9% more than the same costs of crime in 2021, although record inflation levels mean the two years are roughly the same in real dollar value.
The report’s authors say the costs are borne by the entire state.
“The undeniable and blistering increases in crime in Colorado continued throughout 2021,” reads the report. “The impact is greatest on the growing number of victims. However, the full costs of crime are borne by all Coloradans through public tax dollars, lost economic opportunity and diminished quality of life.”
Per person, the costs of 2021 crime come to $5,320 per Coloradan.
The costs were estimated based on the methodology used in a report from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. It includes the “external costs” to victims, like losses from crimes like fraud or stolen property, as well as emergency, health care and victim services and the costs to investigate and prosecute.