BY FREDA MIKLIN
It is constantly in the news that crime has increased since the start of the pandemic at the national, state and local levels. The villager wanted to see what the actual data was showing for two towns in our area, Greenwood Village and Cherry Hills Village.
Cities are different in that GV has a large commercial component, while CHV does not. This impacts the number of people in each city, as many people who work in GV companies enter and leave the city every day. According to the US Census Bureau, CHV has a permanent population of 6,442, compared to 15,611 GV. Before the pandemic, it was estimated that up to 40,000 people commuted to GV for work every day. It is not known how many of these people have returned and how many are still working, permanently or partially from home. Finally, cities report their crime statistics according to categories they deem significant. We report the available data.
Burglary is the act of illegally entering a building with the intent to commit a crime, often theft, but it is still burglary if nothing is actually stolen. In Greenwood Village, burglaries fell from 114 in 2020 to 84 in 2021, a decrease of 26%. In Cherry Hills Village, burglaries increased in 2021 compared to 2020, from 15 to 25. Although this is a 67% increase, this statistic is an example of how the use of percentages can be misleading instead of helpful when the numbers being compared are small. Of the 25 CHV burglaries in 2021, three occurred in December and all are inactive cases, according to CHV police. In two cases, entered garages remained open and in the third, the victim refused to proceed.
In Greenwood Village, the largest increase in crime in 2021 over 2020 was in the auto theft category, which increased from 128 to 212. In this case, the 66% rate of increase is significant. In an article by The villager on Feb. 3, we reported that the head of a statewide auto theft task force had earlier reported that 90% of stolen cars in Colorado are recovered by law enforcement. order.
GV now tracks stolen car data recovered in the city, but it includes vehicles that were stolen from other locations. What we do know is that, based on the fact that Arapahoe County Jail was reluctant to take in new inmates during the pandemic to avoid COVID in its population, as the pandemic took hold, GV focused on crime prevention and began instituting significant new data-driven procedures to catch would-be perpetrators red-handed. Thanks to these efforts, they have managed to prevent a large number of crimes, including car theft, which do not appear in the data because they were not completed.
Other GV flights have also increased from 429 in 2020 to 675 in 2021.
While this also reflects a significant 57% increase, general theft is a tricky category as it can involve anything from a purse stolen from a clothing store fitting room or an office when the owner wanders off to a piece of jewelry that an owner cannot locate and believes he knows for sure where he last saw it. Thus, a reported theft may or may not reflect that an actual crime has taken place. In addition to the theft of a valuable item, a theft report can also result from a misunderstanding in a household or an inaccurate memory.
The number of thefts reported to the CHV that were not from vehicles or did not involve mail fell from 33 in 2020 to 37 in 2021. Of the 37, seven occurred in December and six of them involved parcels stolen from porches. Seven vehicles were also reported to have entered the CHV illegally in December, six of which were unlocked.
Robbery is a very serious crime that occurs when someone takes another person’s property by force or the threat of force. Data from GV indicates that there were nine reported thefts in 2020 and 13 in 2021.
GV Police issued 7,138 traffic tickets in 2021, compared to 6,982 in 2020, an increase of 2%. GV traffic accidents fell from 819 to 908 during the same period. In CHV, which does not report the precise number of crashes, the total number of traffic citations increased by 34% between 2020 and 2021, from 2,529 to 3,379. CHV also reports impaired driving arrests, which increased from 13 in 2020 to 17 in 2021. GV does not report impaired driving arrests separately in its city manager’s monthly report.