DENVER – Violent crime, including murders, are increasing in Denver and Colorado, according to new statistics from police and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Murders in Colorado have jumped 27 percent in the last three years. In 2015 there were 173 murders, while there were 220 in 2017.
That’s according to new data from the CBI, which can be tracked and broken down on the state’s website.
Meanwhile, murders in Denver have increased six percent in the last year. So far in 2018, there have been 51 murders, compared to 48 at this time last year, according to Denver Police.
Police say the increase is because there are more incidents where multiple people have been killed.
“Obviously there’s a high volume of people and that creates a reason for concern, but generally it’s a safe downtown area,” Denver Police Division Chief Ron Thomas told FOX31 hours after a double-shooting near 14th and Market where one man was killed and another critically wounded.
Despite the increase, Denver’s murder numbers are still well below the highs of the 1990s and early 2000s.
“Statistically, crime has been going down,” said Metro State University of Denver criminologist Dr. Andrea Borrego.
She told FOX31 crime increases for a number of reasons. This includes a change in how crime is reported – which does affect the CBI numbers – to the economy, population growth and population density.
“If crime ever goes up … you want to look into what’s going on. Should we have some kind of moral panic going on? No, probably not,” Dr. Borrego said.
Many people FOX31 talked with in downtown Friday said they feel safe in the city and are not concerned about the increase in crime or the deadly shooting from earlier in the morning.
And for some perspective – Detroit is about the same size city as Denver, with a murder rate that’s about five times as high.