Violent crime in Colorado's largest cities fell 6.2 percent in the first half of 2008, surpassing the nationwide decline [according to the] FBI's Preliminary Semi Annual Uniform Crime Report . . . Cumulatively, property crime in the largest Colorado cities was down 12.7 percent, with every one of the individual cities reporting an overall decline. Violent crime was more of a mixed bag, with Aurora, Centennial, Colorado Springs, Denver and Thornton reporting overall declines, and Arvada, Fort Collins, Lakewood and Westminster reporting increases. . . .
In Denver, violent crime fell 12.7 percent and property crime fell 19.5 percent. If the numbers hold, 2008 would be Denver's third consecutive year of double-digit decreases in crime. . . . Denver saw a 23.8 percent decrease in murders, from 21 in the first half of 2007 to 16 in the first half of 2008. Overall, Denver's 16 murders accounts for about one-third of the 47 murders in Colorado's largest cities.
Crime was also down nationally in 2008, repeating a drop in 2007, that follow a small 2005-2006 bump after crime reached record low levels in 2004. But, national 3.5% declines in violent crime and 2.5% in property crime were exceeded in Colorado.
Most people think that crime rates and personal bankruptcies are closely tied to business cycles, but the numbers tell a different story. Business bankruptcies and domestic violence incidents coincide with recessions, and white collar crime prosecutions predictably follow market crashes. But, personal bankruptcies most closely track overall consumer debt levels (which aren't terribly cyclic), and ordinary crime is more closely related to factors like the aggregate number of people who are in military service, correctional institutions and mental health institutions.
In the City and County of Denver, the large three year trend may represent a combination of the gentrification of the central city and the impact of improved policing efforts.