University Area Crime Climbs During First Half of 2021

Crime is increasing around the University of Denver and the pace of these crimes may leave many residents and students unprepared for the ever-changing environment. The cause could be COVID-19 or the rise in crime may be attributed to other longer-term urban issues.

Compared to 2020 figures, property crimes in University Park are up 23.4% (190 vs, 154), burglaries up 29.4% (12 vs. 17), and car thefts up 50% (54 vs 36). Lesser reported and rarer occurrences such as rape (2 vs. 1) and violent crime (9 vs. 6) are all up.  Only bike theft is down 41% (10 vs. 17) in the first six months of this year.

Unfortunately, the news in the University neighborhood is no better with property crimes up 52% (187 vs 123), burglaries up 153.8% (33 vs. 13), robberies up 100% (6 vs. 3) and car thefts up 64% (41 vs 25). Violent crimes spiked up 30.8% (9 vs. 13) and rape up (1 vs. 0). Only bike thefts dropped 80% (3 vs. 15) – likely due to DU students off-campus for some of the year due to COVID-19.

The picture is not a positive one. On a relative basis, the DU University neighborhood is dropping in safety over the past several years compared to many of the other 78 Denver neighborhoods.

University Park was even worse, falling into the bottom quartile of Denver neighborhoods for crime.

These figures should be a wake-up call for this neighborhood. Oftentimes, we take for granted that the University and University Park neighborhoods are exempt from many of the problems associated with other parts of the city. At this point, students, faculty, and visitors are facing greater risk.  One option would be for Denver’s District 3 Police Substation on University to place more officers on the street and Denver University security add staff and extend their coverage in and around the University of Denver. Neighborhood watch groups may provide another option to put a dent in escalating crime.

The One Observatory Apartments, University House, Safeway, University Park Tower and McDonald’s all reported double-digit crime reports during the first half of the year.

Note: Statistics from Denver Post Crime Reports. Data provided by Denver Police Department.

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