Colorado crime report shows decrease in statewide, countywide offenses
A report released in July by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation showed a slight decrease in crime across the state last year. Statistics specific to Summit County followed a similar trend, with a decrease from 392 to 310 reported offenses from 2013 to 2014.
“It’s hard to know why crime goes up or down,” said Breckenridge assistant police chief Dennis McLaughlin. “When crime spikes in a local area, we can put some resources on it.”
Statewide, CBI reported a nearly 13 percent decrease in homicides between 2013 and 2014, dropping from 172 reported incidents to 150. On the other hand, the state saw a 1.9 percent uptick in violent crime, including a 2 percent increase in reported rapes (from 2,903 offenses to 2,961 offenses), a 3.9 percent increase in aggravated assaults (from 9,834 offenses to 10,213 offenses) and a 6.9 percent increase in “other” assaults (from 29,527 offenses to 31,556 offenses).
The county, on the other hand, saw a much more favorable trend, with a marked decrease in assaults over the last several years. In 2014, Summit saw 94 reported assaults, much less than the 123 reported in 2013.
“We know that we have fights at some of our bars at night. When we see a trend like that in the town, we try to work with the liquor establishments or management companies,” McLaughlin said. “We will ask for better lighting or say, ‘we need you to step up a little bit and not over-serve.’”
Of the reported assaults, three involved the use of a firearm, two involved the use of a knife, two involved the use of fists, legs or feet, and 87 listed the method as “other.”
The state and the county differed in crimes of theft, as well. Colorado saw a significant decrease, with a 6.6 percent drop in burglaries, or breaking and entering, a 3.7 percent decrease in robberies, or theft involving the use of force, and a 2.8 percent decrease in larceny, or personal theft.
Robberies are rare in Summit County, with no reported incidents in 2014, and just one in 2013. Larceny decreased, too, from 215 offenses to 146. However, more burglaries were reported last year, with a jump from 28 offenses to 43 offenses between 2013 and 2014 the highest number of incidents the county has seen since 2009.
“Our burglaries and thefts seem to be more seasonal — we see more of those at the beginning of the ski season,” McLaughlin said. “We’re definitely increasing in population countywide, and we have more special events in Breckenridge, which brings more and more people to the county.”
He added that while some crimes are easier to “solve” or suppress in an area, others, such as drug dealing, simply shift from place to place.
“If there’s too much pressure in one area, they just move to another place,” McLaughlin said.
CBI’s report was based on data from of 249 different law enforcement agencies across the state. CBI does not interpret the data but has collected and presented years of crime reporting dating back to 1998 for their annual “Crime in Colorado” report.
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