Major Crimes Up In Colorado; Causes Disputed

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Serious crime in Colorado rose sharply last year. The Denver Post says that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s annual report shows double-digit percentage increases in homicides, rapes, burglaries, and car thefts compared with 2001. Robberies increased nearly 5 percent. Taking the state’s population increase into account, crime overall still rose by more than 10 percent.

Among analyses reported by the Post:

* Littleton, Co., Police Chief Gary Maas said that as the economy goes down, crime goes up.

* Criminologist Joseph Sandoval of Metropolitan State College of Denver noted that experts for years have predicted a rise in crime as the number of people in their high teens and early 20s grows.

* Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said, “Crime really took a nose dive for a while. “It may be a natural adjustment.”

Homicides were up more than 21 percent in 2002, but arrests for homicide were down. Were more single individuals committing multiple homicides in 2002 or more groups of people committing single homicides in 2001?

Sandoval said the trend doesn’t look good: “It certainly does not portend well for what may happen in 2003…This summer in Denver has been awful.”


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