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DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Police say they are seeing an increase in violent crime this year, and it was already above the three-year average before that.

Native Jason McBride, a violence prevention specialist with the Struggle of Love Foundation, said it reminds him of violent summers in Denver decades ago.

“This year is maybe one of the worst to come on record, and we had a terrible year last year. This year, we might double the numbers we had last year,” McBride said.

McBride said access to guns is an issue, whether legal or illegal guns. And the lack of access to recreational centers since the start of the pandemic has impacted things, too.

Denver Police said two factors top the list: economic issues and illegal guns.

Authorities add that they’ve identified 5 locations or “hot spots” for that violence.

Detectives say 1.5% of the city’s land mass contributes to 50% of the gun violence