With Denver mayoral election winner Mike Johnston in place and the end of the school year this weekend, it is an ideal time to look at crime in our surrounding neighborhood, identify trends, and see if there has been progress since 2022 to reduce local crime in the University/University Park neighborhoods.
According to Denverite, the City of Denver continues to battle rising crime rates citywide:
Violent crime is up almost 11%, with murders up 11.54% and aggravated assault up 17.24%. The only violent-crime category to drop is sexual assault, with a 9.49% decrease. Property crimes are up 2.76%, with auto theft up 6.4%. Arson has dropped 21.74%. Other crimes, including public disorder, drug and alcohol crimes, are up just over 16%, with drug and alcohol crimes up a whopping 31.53%. White-collar crime has fallen 15.5%. In total, crime is up 8.37%.
Surprisingly, Denver ranks in the top 10 U.S. cities for crime, including: 3rd in motor vehicle theft, 6th in property crime rate, and 10th in rape crime rate. Approximately 14,980 vehicles were stolen in Denver in all of 2022.
The good news, according to Denver police neighborhood crime reports, is that University and University Park rank 37th and 67th, respectively, out of Denver’s 78 neighborhoods and is holding up better than many other local areas against rising crime. See the map below which defines boundaries for the two adjoining university neighborhoods.
For our analysis, we consolidated the two neighborhoods of University and University Park to get a comprehensive view of 2023 crime year-over-year through June 1st.
There were 295 property crimes vs 312 the prior year. Burglaries were nearly even 33 vs 34 in the first five months of 2023. Violent crime has dropped from 24 to 14. Car thefts have gone down from 77 to 64 while robberies have dropped from 10 to 4. Lesser reported crimes show sexual assault up (6 vs. 3), domestic violence about even (11 vs. 12), bike thefts even (15 vs. 14) and drug crimes continue to fall from 12 to 7 this year.
The most interesting statistics are police reports by-location frequency. Local retailers such as the Safeway, 7-11, Walgreens, and McDonalds led reporting frequency in prior crime updates. It appears that many retail locations may have simply stopped reporting crimes as these sites show little activity in the first five months of this year. With retail theft skyrocketing nationally, it was our local residential apartment units that led the pack in the sheer number of police calls. The University Apartments had the most police calls with 23 police reports followed by the Observatory Apartments with 16 and the 24Fifty Apartments and University train station with 12 each. Centennial Towers came in fifth on the list with 7 police reports.
It was interesting to note that the most frequently reported burglaries in the University neighborhood occurred between noon and 8:00 pm and University ranked 48th out of Denver’s 78 neighborhoods in this category. Robberies were mostly between 4 pm-midnight, as you might expect. University Park on the other hand saw night-time burglaries occur most frequently from midnight to 4:00 am. Robberies, surprisingly, were mostly between 4-8 pm, earlier in the day.
The bottom line is that local university area crime seems to have peaked but is still far from ideal. There is a continued need to improve safety locally and, especially, across the wider city of Denver.