DENVER (KDVR) — As Colorado’s crime rates have risen, so too have the costs.
Free market think tank Common Sense Institute released its annual Cost of Crime analysis, wherein researchers calculate the direct and indirect economic hole left by violence, theft, fraud and property damage. The study included the period between 2008 and 2023.
Costs include unrecovered stolen property, damaged property, victims’ out-of-pocket medical expenses, the cost of police, courts and correctional institutions, and lost earnings by both victims and perpetrators who are arrested and convicted. Murder is the highest costing crime in the analysis at $8.8 million per incident.
In 2022, the cost of all police-reported crime was $10.9 billion in total. The cost of all crime was $27.2 billion – about $4,623 per every Coloradan. The cost has gone down since 2021, but CSI warns the current crime rate is too expensive in any case.
“In 2021, after an extraordinary rise in crime, CSI estimated a total cost of crime of $31 billion,” reads the report. “Although the cost declined slightly in 2022 to $27 billion, Colorado is on track to have another year of extraordinarily high crime-related costs in 2023. This is driven by an 18% increase in the murder rate; murder is the highest costing crime in the analysis at $8.8 million per incident.”
The costs of crime vary by county. The per capita cost of all crime is highest in Adams ($10,243), Pueblo ($8,176), Denver ($7,585), Alamosa ($7,576), Kiowa ($7,404), Saguache ($5,925), Montezuma ($5,639), Bent ($5,497), Otero ($5,253), and Garfield ($5,138).