Colorado’s overall crime rate dropped last year for the third time since 2005, and property crimes continued to fall in the state despite a persistent recession, reports the Denver Post. The total number of major crimes decreased 6.1 percent from 2007 to 2008, and the number of crimes reported per 100,000 residents dropped 8 percent.
The biggest decrease came in the number of auto thefts, which dropped a surprising 22 percent from 16,353 committed in 2007 to 12,740 last year. Habitual auto thieves are serving lengthier prison terms; they are often prolific pattern criminals, and when you take one off the street, the total number of cases decreases sharply, Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said. The number of reported and attempted rapes increased from 1,949 in 2007 to 2,026 in 2008, according to a state report to be released today. The bad economy could have been a factor, said Allison Cotton, associate professor of criminology at Metropolitan State College of Denver. Rape is a crime of control, she said, and when people are unable to make ends meet, they feel stress and seek to gain control by other means.