Denver crime increased 7 percent during the first nine months of 2005 compared to the same period last year, the Rocky Mountain News reports. Arrests in six police districts dropped 51 percent since 1997. The data were released via an open records request from the newspaper. Other new numbers that could raise eyebrows at city hall show that between 2000 and the end of 2004 crime rose 19.6 percent citywide while arrests dropped 31 percent.
The City Council and Mayor John Hickenlooper have struggled with the arrest and crime figures since they were first reported in August. The council has held a series of meetings to try to find a cause, while the mayor has hired a team of criminologists to study the police department. A police spokesman said the department is using the figures to shift resources to attack crime trends as they appear. City Councilman Doug Linkhart, asked about the crime increase, said, “I suppose we could blame it on the economy, but at some point that doesn’t work.”