Mayor Hickenlooper, Council President Hancock, and Chief Whitman Announce 10 Percent Drop in Denver Crime in 2006

Mayor Hickenlooper, Council President Hancock, and Chief Whitman Announce 10 Percent Drop in Denver Crime in 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

 

CONTACT:

John White, Denver Police Department, 720-913-6142

Sue Cobb or Sarah Moss, Mayor’s Office, 720-865-9016
 
  Mayor Hickenlooper, Council President Hancock and Chief Whitman Announce 10 Percent Drop in Denver Crime in 2006
 
82 Percent of Neighborhoods See Reduction
 
(DENVER) Crime in Denver dropped 10 percent in 2006 compared to 2005, according to data released by the Denver Department of Safety today.  Figures compiled by the Safety Office of Policy Analysis show that both violent and property crime are down, and that the eight major crimes tracked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were down 14 percent in Denver last year.
 
Denver is a safer place due to the dedication and hard work of Denver’s police officers and our community partners,” said Mayor John Hickenlooper. “Certainly, there is still work to be done, but we are very encouraged by these results. We look forward to working with the community to build upon this progress.”
 
Measures of police activity, including citations, arrests and other officer-initiated actions, were all up in 2006, according to Denver Police Chief Gerald Whitman.  “The annual report shows how effective our police officers can be and demonstrates the impact of our relentless focus on real-time information to address crime,” Whitman said.  “We can see what’s happening faster and get on top of the issues right away, so we can solve crime problems as they develop.”
 
Property crimes led the citywide reductions, and were down 15 percent overall, with double-digit drops in every major category: burglary, larceny, auto theft and arson.  Auto theft and theft from motor vehicles both declined 21 percent, representing 1,624 fewer stolen cars and 1,981 fewer thefts from automobiles.
 
Crimes against persons, including homicide, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault, were down 3 percent in 2006, led by an 11 percent drop in robbery and a 10 percent drop in homicide.  Homicide saw double-digit declines for the second consecutive year, having surged to 91 in 2004.  Denver’s 55 homicides in 2006 ranked below the 10-year average of 60 for the first time since 2002.
 
Preliminary figures from the FBI for the first half of 2006 showed that Denver’s rate of violent crime was below average for cities of greater than 400,000 population.
 
“These reductions in violent crime are good news, but we can do better,” Hickenlooper said.  “We must continue to come together as a community to battle domestic abuse, gangs and illegal drug activity, all of which fuel violence in our neighborhoods.  These are complex issues, and we are already spending millions addressing them. Yet they continue to cause fear and pain in our community.
 
“We are firmly committed to doing all we can to make Denver residents safer from gangs and violent activities. Certainly, enforcement is important, but it is really through prevention and intervention that we will successfully address these challenges in the long run.  As a community, we must create more compelling alternatives and support systems that encourage our youth to reject gang activity in favor of positive choices.”
 
Denver’s Crime Prevention and Control Commission has been taking a lead role in developing more effective strategies, not just to help turn the tide against gangs, but also to reduce criminal recidivism, manage jail space more effectively and develop a data-driven criminal justice system. These strategies will focus on strengthening prevention, intervention and enforcement, especially with regard to at-risk youth and young adults.  The Commission has been revitalizing the Metro Gang Coalition and bringing together government agencies, community organizations and former gang members to develop a comprehensive approach to gangs, and also to pursue grant funding for new and expanded programs.  These strategies will complement promising work being done to streamline services and enforcement related to domestic violence, as well as the reinstitution of the drug court in Denver.
 
City Council President Michael Hancock also has pressed for a stronger response to gang activity.  “I am encouraged that we are collaborating regionally and seeking new funding sources to strengthen the anti-gang effort,” Hancock said.  “We must also be sure to incorporate the input of those who are afraid in their own parks and homes. We need their help defining our goals for this effort and evaluating our success in meeting them.”
 
“Our Gang Unit is aggressive about confronting gang members and investigating gang crime,” Whitman said.  “This important enforcement role, however, doesn’t address the underlying conditions that foster gang involvement. We are eager to strengthen our partnerships with other government agencies and community service providers that are better able to prevent kids from pursuing the gang lifestyle.”
 
Among Denver neighborhoods, 64 of 78, or 82 percent, experienced reductions in crime.  The biggest drops were in Bear Valley (33 percent decline), Kennedy (32 percent), Washington Park (31 percent), Cory-Merrill (28 percent), and Cole (28 percent).  Just 14 neighborhoods saw crime increases in 2006, and only two, Gateway/Green Valley Ranch (30 percent increase) and Southmoor Park (29 percent), were above 20 percent.
 

Denver’s neighborhoods vary greatly in size and population, so a useful way to compare crime rates among them is to look at crimes per 1,000 residents.  As the following table shows, overall crime dropped in the neighborhoods with the highest per capita crime rates.  All neighborhoods in the top 10 for 2006 showed reductions, except for Jefferson Park, for which a 4 percent increase reflected 15 additional crimes over 2005.

2006 RANK PER 1,000 PERSONS

NEIGHBORHOOD

2005 REPORTED OFFENSES

2006 REPORTED OFFENSES

05 TO 06 NUMERIC CHANGE

05 TO 06 PERCENT CHANGE

2000 CENSUS POPULATION

2006 RATE PER 1,000 PERSONS

2005 RANK

1

Sun Valley

487

439

-48

-10%

1,496

293.4

1

2

Five Points

2,233

2,021

-212

-10%

8,775

230.3

2

3

City Park

418

365

-53

-13%

2,123

171.9

4

4

Lincoln Park

1,039

988

-51

-5%

6,431

153.6

6

5

North Capitol Hill

818

613

-205

-25%

4,071

150.6

3

6

Overland

314

312

-2

-1%

2,081

149.9

9

7

Globeville

544

512

-32

-6%

3,454

148.2

7

8

City Park West

611

591

-20

-3%

4,286

137.9

10

9

Baker

890

773

-117

-13%

5,810

133.0

8

10

Jefferson Park

400

415

15

4%

3,330

124.6

14

12

Cherry Creek

804

590

-214

-27%

5,028

117.3

5

Denver police have been working with Sun Valley residents and community partners since the fall of 2006 to develop a neighborhood public safety strategy to help reduce crime there.  Initial meetings have been aimed at supplementing available crime data, identifying neighbors’ safety priorities and strengthening the partnership among neighbors and police.
 

In Five Points, a new Cop Shop opened at Curtis Street and Park Avenue West on November 18, 2006, to establish a combined and visible presence for police and concerned neighbors.  Cop Shops are staffed by community volunteers and offer many police services in a neighborhood facility.  They are also frequented by neighborhood police officers in order to demonstrate police commitment and strengthen deterrence.


Wellshire had the lowest rate of crime per 1,000 residents in 2006, followed by Indian Creek.


More data and statistics by neighborhood are available at
http://www.denvergov.org/sopa/HomePage/2006CrimeStatistics/tabid/425692/Default.aspx.
 

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Posted on Feb 13, 2007 (Archive on Apr 14, 2007)
Posted by chani  Contributed by chani
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