How Safe is the University of Denver Neighborhood this Year?

A construction boom, sky high home prices ($600k/avg.) and a relatively low unemployment rate (3.0%) mask many of the crimes that many of us never hear about unless we keep a keen eye on the news. Based on Spirling’s Best Places to Live, Denver proper is still the most dangerous major city in Colorado – yes, more than Aurora. On a scale of 1 (low) to 100 (High), Denver’s violent crimes are rated at 30.7 vs. a national average of 22.7 and property crimes are 50.8 in Denver – 15 points higher than the US average. Essentially, Denver is a large metropolitan area with all the associated big city problems.

What are we to think, especially residents of the University and University Park neighborhoods?

According to figures provided by the Denver Police Department and published by The Denver Post, in the last month in the University neighborhood, there was a threat with a weapon, robbery of a person in the open and burglary of a residence with forced entry. For the year, rape is up (2 vs 3), robberies are up (9 vs 6), and drug crimes are up (16 vs 13) for the neighborhood. During the same period compared to last year, property crime is down (174 vs 203), domestic violence has dropped (5 vs 13), and car thefts (25 vs 31) and bike thefts (22 vs 27) have dropped nearly 20% so far this year.

Think University Park is safer?

There were three reported violent crimes, two with weapons, and one assault causing serious bodily injury in the past 30 days. The local 7-11 was robbed at gunpoint along with three forced entry home invasions robberies. For the year, crime in University Park has been falling. Violent crime has fallen 38.9% (11 vs 18) compared to 2018 reports at this same time. Property crimes (182 vs 217), robberies (4 vs 8), burglaries (35 vs 42), car thefts (27 vs 30), and bike thefts (9 vs 16) are all down vs 2018 figures.  Rape (1 vs 0) and drug crimes (42 vs 41) have held even.

Table: Crimes Year-to-Date for University & University Park
Homicides – 0 Rape – 4
Robbery – 13 Auto Theft – 52
Burglary – 60 Drug Crimes – 58
Violent Crimes – 31 Bike theft – 31
Domestic Violence – 14

While the raw numbers are interesting, how are University and University Park neighborhoods doing versus other Denver neighborhoods?

Denver Crime Map

The Denver Post generates a report from Denver police that compares crime rates for Denver’s 78 neighborhoods. University Park is bounded by I-25, Yale, University, and Colorado Boulevard. University is bound by I-25, Downing, Yale/Dartmouth and University. Here is how the DU neighborhood ranks among the 78 neighborhoods (78 being the safest, 1 being the most dangerous):

Table: Neighborhood Ranking 1-78
Category Best Worst University
University Park
Property Crime Indian Creek DIA 58 43
Residential Burglary Jefferson Park Auraria 64 33
Business Burglary Indian Creek Auraria 69 53
Burglary by-force Indian Creek DIA 74 51
Burglary Unforced Indian Creek Union Station 61 32
Auto theft Wellshire DIA 74 62
Arson Civic Center Sloan Lake 68 26
Violent Crime Wellshire Civic Ctr 60 72
Domestic Violence Country Club DIA 75 65
Sexual Assault Country Club Civic Ctr 51 60
Robbery Washington Park Auraria 40 59
DUI Whittier Lincoln Park 76 75
Hit & Run Fort Logan Auraria 54 71

Neighborhood rankings indicate that dense urban areas and high traffic locations are the centers of the highest crime rates to include Union Station, Auraria, and the Civic Center. Also, DIA is another area of high crime and requires travelers to be more attentive. As for University and University Park neighborhoods, most crime statistics generally fall into the safer one-third of Denver neighborhoods.

As for the actual University of Denver crime reports, the federally enacted Clery Act requires colleges and universities to report crimes. US News & World Report has now added these crime statistics for DU to their annual college reviews. In the latest reporting year shown by US News (2017), there were 12 rapes, 16 burglaries, 5 fondlings, and one illegal weapon arrest on campus. The numbers for criminal offenses reflect only reports of alleged offenses to campus security and/or law enforcement authorities, not necessarily prosecutions or convictions. Thus, crime figures may not align with Denver police reports.

All in all, DU area residents face the greatest threats when it comes to burglary, car theft, and property crimes. So locked doors, secured vehicles, home lighting and security, and a watchful eye are required if local residents want to avoid being listed on future Denver Police crime reports.

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