수요일, 7월 24, 2024
Home뉴스How Crime Wave is Getting So Bad in Colorado

How Crime Wave is Getting So Bad in Colorado

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Colorado Awash in a Tsunami of Crime

Colorado’s violent crime rate ranks among the highest in the nation after the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo Denver Police)

The growth in Colorado’s violent crime rate between 2010 and 2020 has outpaced the national average. Colorado showed a 35% increase in violent crimes compared with a 3% increase nationwide. It is difficult to draw conclusions from year to year when it comes to crime rates, but research shows criminal activity is traditionally exacerbated during hard economic times. Some experts say the statistics disregards things like the recent increase in domestic violence, the rise of anger because of social media, the increase in the number of guns and other societal causes. Some sees economic and societal hardships from COVID-19 as drivers as well as Colorado’s acute late of adequate mental health resources and the havoc wreaked by the opioid epidemic.

The governor is also fighting for real solutions to address the pandemic-induced rise in crime, including more and better policing, and his plan to prevent crime from ever taking place through better drug treatment, mental health, youth violence prevention, and important new investments in funding for police officers. 

  • The Mile High City Has Been Ranked the Worst City in Package Theft

As the holiday season ramps up, porch pirates are ramping up in kind. Although it is a part of a growing national trend, there is no worse place in the country this year to have your package stolen than Denver. San Francisco held the top spot for the prior three years. It is happening all over the metro and downtown, not just packages that the thieves are targeting. 

“All of this adds up to easy targets for thieves. Porch piracy is a low-entry crime,” says experts. “There are no special skills needed to walk up a driveway and steal a package.” Just as the risk is low, the punishment if caught is typically the same. In Colorado, theft of an item between $50 to $2,000 is a misdemeanor punishable by fines and as much as 18 months in jail or as little as probation. In more than a dozen states, often those with high package theft rates, lawmakers have approved or considered laws to make porch privacy a specific crime or increase penalties.

  • Property Crime Rate and Motor Vehicle Theft Rate more than Doubled

From 2010 to 2020, Colorado’s property crime rate increased more than that of almost any other state, and its motor vehicle theft rate more than doubled. While the national rate of property crime has fallen consistently over the last 30 years, Colorado’s rate remained largely flat or even increased slightly since 2009. 

Moreover, only 10 years ago, the rate of motor vehicle theft in Colorado was lower than the national average. However, since then, Colorado’s auto theft rate has increased by 135%, while the national rate has increased a relatively scant 3% though 2020. Denver police recorded nearly 37,000 vehicle incidents last year. This year is expected to set a new record for vehicle thefts in the Denver metro area and across Colorado. The state has seen at least 26,783 vehicle thefts from the start of 2021 through September. 

  • Teen Violence Surges in Many Cities All Over Colorado

The November shootings among teens definitely ignited peace rallies, emergency community meetings, gun buyback programs and increased school security across the state of Colorado. The rash of mass violence in November and a year-over-year increase in the number of teens killed and injured in many cities highlight what some city officials and community leaders described as a lack of attention by the state to the issue of youth violence until last year.

Colorado’s policymakers have responded with some tax dollars and compassionate programs. Governor Jared Polis also presented budget requests to the legislature that would represent the state’s largest investment of his first term, including $32 million to expand residential treatment capacity for youth with behavioral health issues, along with $10 million to hire about 100 staff to expand capacity at the Colorado Mental Health Institute. 

All the while, at least two generations now have grown up enmeshed in reports of people dying in public places because of guns. At the same time, our kids are called to take sides in adults’ bitter national debate over constitutional and self-defense in a time of racial and political unrest. Experts emphasize that the gun violence among youth in Colorado is just going through the roof. State statistics show that at the end of October, Colorado had reported 7,576 violent crimes involving firearms. 

Senseless violence, death and crushing grief are somewhat familiar to Colorado, but it does not mean that these tragedies should continue. Colorado needs everyone’s attention at the moment: policymakers, lawmakers, police officers, community leaders, parents and teenagers should all pay attention to alleviating the soaring crime rate that threatens the safety of our home. 

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Rachel Y cho
Rachel Y cho
• BA Journalism&Mass Communication, Korea University • BA International Studies, Korea University • MA International Security, University of Denver

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