In July 2012, a heinous mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado made national news. Approximately 30 minutes into the midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, James Eagan Holmes exited the movie theater, returned with multiple weapons, and opened fire, killing 12 and injuring 58 others. Previously, Aurora had been ranked as one of the safest cities in the United States, making this tragedy all the more shocking.
Thankfully, mass shootings are relatively rare in Colorado, and crime statistics show hope for a safer tomorrow.
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Crime Trends In Colorado, 2010-2011
Overall, the rate of violent crime in Colorado is 320.2 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants. Per 100,000 residents, the rate in 2011 of murder was 2.9; of rape, 44.5; and of assault, 64.6. There were hundreds of thousands of property crimes in the years 2010-2011 in the state of Colorado.
Colorado has made the news more than once with its tragic mass shootings, with three such incidents over the last 13 years, and several averted crises. While crime may be lowering overall, these incidents stick out. Why do they happen? Psychiatrists suggest regional differences in gun usage (it may be more acceptable in the West) and that many Coloradans are from elsewhere. While its an area that many feel they can reinvent themselves, constantly moving can lead to emotional isolation, potentially leading to more violent crimes.
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Best And Worst Of Colorado
The safest large city in Colorado is Centennial. With a population just over 100,000, Centennial has a relatively low rate of violent crimes, boasting no murders in the years 2010-2011. There were less than 100 counts each of rape, robbery and arson, and lower rates of assault and other property crimes relative to other cities in Colorado. For smaller cities (populations less than 20,000 inhabitants), Erie, Woodland Park, and Frederick top the list, with three or less violent crimes per city and virtually no property crimes to speak of.
The least safe big city in Colorado is Denver. Far and away the biggest city in Colorado, Denver has seen a huge increase in violent crimes, with over 3,700 reported in 2011 for a population of around 610,000. These crimes include 33 murders, 393 rapes, 22,515 property crimes and nearly 100 cases of arson. The next largest city, Colorado Springs, with a population of 423,000, has a violent crime rate of 1,875 for 2011, including 28 murders, 325 rapes, and 104 cases of arson, among tons of property crimes. Colorado Springs is slightly smaller, but may not be much safer than Denver. Pueblo, Alamosa and Wheat Ridge are small cities with high crime rates, including multiple counts of arson and property crimes.