Crime Prevention Tips

To assist the Police Department in making Denver neighborhoods safe, it's important to report all crime and suspicious activities to the numbers provided to the left of this page. Learn more below:
  • Keep you house locked when you are away as well as when you are home and use deadbolt locks to secure your home. 
  • NEVER under any circumstances let anyone know you are alone in the house.

Always lock up your bicycles if they’re kept outside or in a garage. Otherwise, keep them inside the house.

Register Your Bike »

Registering your bike is a great tool that aids officers in the recovery of stolen bikes and helps ensure the bicycle is returned to its rightful owner. You may also register your bike at any police station or COP Shop.

For more information on bike registration, bicycle auctions, and recovered bikes, contact:

Bicycle Recovery
phone: (720) 865-0090
fax: (720) 865-0051
Detective Lance Rushton
Lance.Rushton@denvergov.org

Door Locks

Keep you house locked when you are away as well as when you are home and use deadbolt locks to secure your home. The deadbolt lock has a bolt that must be activated by a key or thumb turn. It offers good security because it is not spring activated and cannot be opened with a credit card. Deadbolt locks should meet these criteria to be a good security device:

  • The bolt must extend a minimum of 1 inch and be made of case hardened steel.
  • The cylinder guard must be tapered, round and free spinning to make it difficult to grip with pliers or a wrench. It must be solid metal – not hollow casting or stamped metal.
  • There should be at least a five pin tumbler system or equivalent locking device.
  • The connecting screws that hold the lock together must be on the inside and made of case hardened steel. No exposed screw heads should be on the outside.
  • The connecting screws must be at least one-fourth inch in diameter and go into solid metal stock, not screw posts. A heavy duty strike plate helps strengthen door frames better than a regular strike plate. (A strike plate is the jamb fastening that receives the deadbolt in the locking position.) The heavy duty plate uses four to six, three inch screws, not two, three-fourth inch screws used in regular plates. The longer screws go through the frame into the jamb making it harder for someone to split the frame when kicking the door. A heavy duty strike plate will strengthen the door jamb and reinforce the lock.

Window Locks

  • Many burglars make entry into residence through open windows so make sure that they are always closed and locked even when you are home.  
  • Use auxiliary locks: Pin your windows or add an auxiliary lock to your double hung windows. This type of mechanism will allow you to secure your window when you open it (5 inches or less) for ventilation. Newer windows have higher quality locks while older double hung windows are easily jimmied or pried open. Double hung windows can be secured by taking these simple, inexpensive precautions:
  • Drill a hole at a downward angle through the first sash and into, but not through, the second sash. Then pin window by driving a nail into the hole. Pinning braces the window against prying. More holes can be drilled to pin the window open for ventilation.
  • Keyed locks are available for windows. If used, master key all window locks and show children how to use them. Do not use keyed locks on windows in sleeping areas.


  • Do not leave messages indicating that you are out of town on your mailbox, phone or answering machine.
  • Suspend paper and mail deliveries when going out of town; or have a friend or neighbor pick up newspapers, mail, and flyers from your yard or door.
  • Call you District Police Station to place your house on vacation watch so that officers can keep an eye on you house during your absence.

Fences: Privacy vs. chain link. Burglars prey on privacy. Fences that allow activity to be seen in your yard are preferable to “privacy” fences.

Trees and shrubbery: Should be trimmed 6 inches below windows and at least 3 feet away from doors. Shrubbery such as rose bushes or other thorny varieties serve as a good deterrent to window peepers.

Landscape rock: Large landscape rock (golf ball size or larger) can be used to damage your property. Small landscape rock (smaller than golf ball size) is both decorative and, if someone walks on them, will be easily heard.

  • Use electric timers inside your home to turn on lights, T.V. or radios during your absence.
  • At night or if away, lower window shades, keep lights on in at least 2 locations
  • Motion detector lights are very effective in deterring crime. They also light up your driveway or entry doors when you are leaving or coming home.
  • Dusk to dawn lighting is a strong deterrent against criminal activity, and it constantly lights up your entry doors and possible obstacles that would otherwise be unseen.
  • Landscape lighting is low voltage lighting that can highlight your property line, light up your sidewalk and also light up the exterior of your windows – making your home a less attractive target to night time burglars.
  • Interior lighting using light timers makes a home look occupied. Good lights to leave on are bedroom and/or bathroom lights.
  • Radios and televisions are also good items to have on timers. If a radio playing a talk station is heard from the outside of a home, it gives the appearance that a conversation is being carried on and someone is home.
  • Keep your vehicle locked up (even when parked in front of your home).
  • Don’t leave anything of value in the vehicle; take them with you or lock in the trunk. This is especially true for a purse, IPod, GPS, computer case, or money.
  • Keep your house key and vehicle key separate.
  • Remove your garage door opener from your vehicle when parked in your driveway or on the street.
  • Always keep a copy of your vehicle registration, license number and VIN on you.
  • Do not warm up your vehicle in the morning without you being in it.
  • Park your vehicle in areas that are highly visible and well lit.
  • Never hide a second set of keys inside your vehicle.
  • Approach your parked vehicle from the passenger side - this gives you the opportunity to observe under your vehicle while walking.
  • Before entering your vehicle, look inside of your vehicle front and back area for suspicious circumstances.

Visible house numbers are important. They can save police officers, firefighters and paramedic’s valuable time. House numbers are especially important if you live where there is an alley. Police officers and firefighters will often respond in the alley, as access is sometimes better.

Attitude and Awareness

  • When you are conducting your daily activities walk briskly and with confidence. Keep your head upright, scan your surroundings and be aware of persons and areas that you encounter.
  • Avoid taking shortcuts and try to remain where there are other people around you and help can be summoned if the need arises.
  • If you believe you are in danger, look for open businesses or nearby residences that can be accessed to obtain assistance.
  • When approaching your residence or workplace have the entry keys in your hand ready to unlock the door. Check around the entrance to your residence or workplace as you approach.
  • Carry your cellular telephone with you at all times and have it available to call for police assistance.
  • When going to and from your vehicle carry your car keys in your hand and these can be utilized to stop an attack. Always check the back seat before entering the vehicle.
  • When entering parking structures and home garages check behind you to determine if someone steps under the door as it is closing. Be especially alert in un-staffed parking lots and enclosed parking garages.
  • Avoid parking in isolated areas with little or no foot or auto traffic.
  • Keep your car in good running condition, and try to gas your vehicle during daylight hours. 
  • If your vehicle becomes disabled park in a well lighted area, place the hood up and activate the emergency flashers and stay in the locked vehicle and call for assistance. Try to avoid stopping at isolated or poorly lit areas. Be sure of the intent of parties offering assistance. If you feel threatened, sound your horn until the person leaves or help arrives. Do not accept rides from strangers and do not pick up hitchhikers. If you are on foot and a vehicle approaches you and you feel threatened run the opposite direction from the vehicle and scream for help. If someone tries to force you in-to a car, fight and resist. Do not get in the vehicle unless it is unavoidable. 
  • Avoid stopping to aid disabled motorists. Request assistance for them by calling the police on your cellular phone or stop and inform a nearby service station. 
  • Drive with your car doors locked at all times and lock the vehicle when leaving it. 
  • Do not leave the vehicle running and unattended, even just to let it warm up on cold days.
  • Your purse is a likely target for an attacker. Try to avoid carrying a handbag if possible. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. If you are carrying a purse and someone grabs it, let it go. Do not fight over property. This applies to your vehicle as well. 
  • If a suspect approaches you, whether they are armed or not and demands your vehicle, give them the car. If you have children in the vehicle inform the suspect of this and that you will remove the children and they can take the vehicle after you do this.
  • When running errands to multiple destinations, place packages and other valuables out of sight, preferably in the trunk. Do not leave items in plain view. Never leave your children unattended in the vehicle, for any reason, not even for a few moments to pay for gas or to go in-to a store to quickly purchase an item.
  • After entering your residence, lock the door and keep your doors and windows locked. 
  • When someone knocks on your door, verify who is at the door, prior to opening it. Consider purchasing an exterior screen or security door and talk through the locked door.
  • Never let an unknown unidentified person inside of your residence for any reason! Ask to see photo credentials of any workers that come to your residence to do repairs. 
  • Beware of unsolicited workers are at your residence. Call for police assistance if necessary. 
  • Keep exterior lights burning during hours of darkness. 
  • Keep your portable phone near your beside as you retire for the day. Before retiring for the evening, check doors and windows to verify they are closed. 
  • When doing outside chores, keep all entry doors locked. 
  • Trim and maintain exterior trees and shrubs to be at the level of your exterior window ledge. Plants and barriers can be placed near windows to deter someone from standing and looking inside your residence. 
  • Consider installing an alarm system or plan an exit strategy if the need arises. 
  • If you are in the residence and someone enters the home, scream loudly and immediately call for police assistance by dialing 911. 
  • If the person does not leave the residence, run out immediately and seek help from nearby neighbors. Take your phone with you and call for police assistance.
  • Get involved with Neighborhood Watch. Introduce yourself to your neighbors and call the police if you observe suspicious activity at residences that surround you.

Action

  • If you are attacked and decide to resist there is no halfway and you must fight with a purpose. Attempt to disable your attacker and run to safety, right away.
  • Scream as loud as you can to attract attention.
  • Strike fast, aim for vital spots.
  • Gouge eyes with thumbs: scratch with fingernails.
  • Jab Knees into groin area.
  • Fight, fight, fight!
  • If you are attacked from the rear, dig heels into instep, kick at shins, strike attackers face with the back of your head.

How to Start a Neighborhood Watch Program

First, contact your Denver Neighborhood Resource Officer to inform them about your intent to start a new watch program. Use our interactive map to locate your neighborhood police station, and contact the neighborhood resource officer listed on your police station's web page.  Download the Neighborhood Watch Booklet. (5 MB PDF). You can also download a Property Inventory Record to record your valuable possessions.

  •  Determine the geographical area that your neighborhood watch program can effectively cover. Consider the landscape and layout of the neighborhood and how effectively neighbors can observe each other's property.
  • Coordinate a date and time when all watch program participants can attend a start-up meeting. You may want to work thorough your Registered Neighborhood Organization to encourage involvement. Meetings may take place in somebody's home, but should be conveniently located and aim to achieve maximum attendance. Be sure to contact your Neighborhood Resource Officer at least two (2) weeks prior to the meeting to confirm their ability to attend. 
  • Once a date and time has been coordinated, develop a meeting announcement flier, make copies, and distribute them to the neighbors. Emphasize the importance of having at least one adult person from every household attend the meeting and provide a method for neighbors to confirm their attendance.
  • Notify our Neighborhood Resource Officer as to how many neighbors will be attending the meeting.
  • During the meeting, your Neighborhood Resource Officer will help organize your neighbors in to a proactive Neighborhood Watch Group. The Crime Prevention Officer will provide educational material and personal instruction in crime prevention techniques.

Sign up for more information!

Neighborhood Nuisances

Your neighborhood police officers are committed to supporting law abiding citizens in protecting their neighborhoods. Under the Nuisance Abatement law, a public nuisance is not a poorly maintained yard, neglected home, a barking dog or stray animal problem. A public nuisance is any real property or vehicle where criminal activity occurs. The activity can include:

  • drug violations 
  • gambling
  • sex offenses
  • weapon offenses
  • gang activity
  • noise offenses and disturbing the peace

The Nuisance Abatement law can be applied by first reporting criminal activity and insisting upon signing a complaint if a criminal episode has occurred. After calling the police dispatcher, 720-913-2000, make a note to yourself concerning the date, time, and circumstances. Leave a message for your Neighborhood Police Officer to contact you. Once this occurs, a file can be started to document activity concerning the property or vehicle. Your Neighborhood Police Officers will encourage everyone on your block to come together in a show of solidarity, support, and purpose. In turn, we need you to report criminal activity and to sign a complaint when appropriate.


Contact Crime Stoppers

If you have information about suspects, or wish to remain anonymous, please call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). You may also text to: 274637 (CRIMES) then title DMCS & enter your message.  Download Metro Denver's Most Wanted list.

Theft and Fraud Prevention

To get the latest fraud alerts or tips on preventing property and ID theft, visit our theft and fraud prevention page.

Denver Community Resource Officers

Your district community resource officer provides community assistance on issues such as neighbor disputes, public nuisances, zoning issues, fraud and crime prevention, and other neighborhood concerns. Community Resource Officers (CROs) attend regular meetings with neighborhood organizations to provide training on issues pertaining to, but not limited to the Neighborhood Watch program, commmercial and home security, gang awareness, crime prevention, and more. Visit your police district station page or learn more about the program...
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