Crime in Denver declined in the first five months of this year and arrests were up, reversing trends that had caused a political outcry, the Denver Post reports. City officials said they were encouraged and believe crime-fighting reforms are producing results. “It is very encouraging, but you have to be cautious about getting too excited,” Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper said. “This is a marathon, not a sprint.” Criminal offenses in Denver dropped 7.4 percent for the first five months of 2006 compared with the first five months of last year. There was a 4.4 percent increase in criminal offenses from 2004 to 2005.
In the Westwood neighborhood, where the city is testing a “broken windows” strategy that cracks down on crimes of disorder, such as graffiti, criminal offenses declined by 25 percent. Two police units called SCAT – Special Crime Attack Teams, each with five officers – have been blanketing the area in addition to regular patrols. Nine other neighborhoods had a greater percentage decline, but police provided data for only the first four months of this year for those areas.