One of the top five fastest-growing states in the US according to Business Insider is Colorado. It is also known as one of the most beautiful states. The diverse landscape and scenery make for amazing cultural experiences and awesome selfies, especially in your backyard.
While you get to raft, cycle, balloon, and have a sense of the great outdoors which is the main attraction of this city, the crime makes Colorado dangerous to explore to the heart's content. Now here are some of the worst cities in Colorado.
Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Colorado
What is the most dangerous city in Colorado? Not one, but ten!
In 2019, this city of 108,385 people was ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in Colorado. This was from a 24/7 Wall St. evaluation of the FBI’s 2017 crime report. 1,167 violent crimes were reported that year leading to a total of 1,053 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents. This was against 980 violent crimes per 100,000 residents reported in 2016.
Violent crime dropped 5% in 2018, and the total crime dropped even further by 16% in 2019. However, the year witnessed the homicide rate increase, with most cases tied to children killing their parents. Residents in this city mention experiences of drive-by shootings as nothing unusual, and the presence of constant theft in many forms. Shootings even involve the police on patrol in neighborhoods. The consequence of this is the consciousness while exploring through neighborhoods on foot or with bikes. Daytimes are easier than nighttimes, therefore females traveling solo are encouraged to explore with company. The use of public transport is relatively safe and especially free of petty thefts like cash mugging, or panhandling.
Areas around the east side of Pueblo are the more dangerous sides of the city. Typically, you have a 1 in 16 chance of being a crime victim in Pueblo.
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2. Federal Heights
This is a small city of 12,173 population located between Thornton and Denver. This city is known for The Water World, one of the US’s biggest water parks. It is also known for being one of the worst crime cities in Colorado. City-data revealed that in 2018, the crime in this city was 1.6 times greater than the U.S. average. This was a 4% increase from 2017. From the records, thefts, auto thefts, and burglaries cover 58%, 18%, and 10.1% respectively. In 2020 so far, despite the police presence in this city, violent crime settles at 34.7, while property crime at 71. This is on a scale of 1 to 100 (low crime to high crime). It is relatively safe to explore during the day time and night time by bikes or public transportation (rare cases of mugging/ cash theft), but caution needs to be taken for travelers, especially solo women, at nights around alleys. Federal Heights is safer than 7% of the cities in the US, however, and most hotels close to the edge of the city come highly recommended.
3. Canon City
Despite this city’s small population of 16,445, the crime rate is 67% greater than the Colorado average and 99% greater than the national average. The Royal Gorge Bridge is what attracts tourists to this city, but they get wary of the homicide reports, and vandalisms, especially theft. Violent crimes increased from 436 for every 100,000 residents in 2017 to 567 in 2018. Property crime which is the prevalent crime in the city grew from 3,886 in 2017 to 4,572 per 100,000 residents in 2018. The city’s year-over-year crime increases by 19%. Even though the police are quite visible in this city, residents complain of slow response to calls.
Luckily, crime is absent in local public transit systems, so moving about with cash is not a safety risk. Exploring can happen on foot or bikes safely both at day times and night times. Tourists and traveling single women are free of worry. Even hotels closer downtown in cities are recommended for their security approach.
4. Colorado Springs
This city, the 39th most populated city in the US, has 478,221 people living in it. In 2017, the total violent crime went up by 17.4% to 3,117 in 2018. Aggravated assault took up 1,633 of that figure and sexual assault 916, a 37.7% increase from 2017. 50% of murders took place in homes, and 44% in roads, parks, and camps. If you ever thought, “Why is the crime rate so high in Colorado Springs?”, neighborhoods that have an extreme reputation for heavy methamphetamine use (drug) and others for gang activities answer that. B Street is mostly residential but has both drugged and gang presence.
When exploring, whether walking or biking, it is best to stay away from 8th Street and US-24 at night as residents talk about how creepy it gets, especially for women traveling alone. Other neighborhoods with bad reputation are Stratmoor valley close to Ft. Carson and the meadows in Southgate. The Southeast area of the city has the worst neighborhoods in Colorado Springs, to be frank, and W Bijou Street is known for police incidents during a few of the patrolling activities. Public transportation is reportedly free from petty criminal activities like pickpocketing. So wallets filled with cash and valuable items are safe. Although 83% of reported robberies are registered in public places.
The 3rd largest city in Colorado and it has a population of 351,131. The crime rate in this city is 21% greater than the Colorado average. Violent crime increased from 608 in 2017 to 728 in 2018, a 19% rise. That year there was a total of 13,838 reported incidents making 3,712 crimes per 100,000 people. Year by year the crime keeps increasing by 3%, making this city one of the worst places to live in Colorado. A total of 11 homicides have been recorded in Aurora since 1st Dec 2019, and other shootings have left more people injured. There has been gun violence in the first weeks of 2020 and even more shootings. Residents admit that, if you use the ATM at 3 AM you might witness some crime.
Public transportation may come with occasional money theft so your wallets should be held with consciousness. When exploring around the city during the day, the Northwest tends to be a bit rougher with the presence of crime and police patrols simultaneously. At night, some areas are sketchy and need not be explored by females alone, but with company. In Aurora, one’s chance of being a crime victim is 1 in 27.
This is one of the smallest cities in Colorado with a population of 4,905. This city’s 2018 FBI record revealed a crime rate of 3.6 times greater than the U.S. average and greater than in 99.5% of US cities. The crime rate rose by 3% in 2018 compared to 2017. It is worth noting that, since 2019, violent crime has been decreasing just as property crime has been increasing. The total crime is 16,701 per 100,000 residents with 15,832 being property crimes alone. There was reportedly a lot of break-in burglaries during the day time in 2019. Occasional incidents happen during bus rides so security with personal belongings such as cash and wallets needs to be taken note of.
While visiting neighborhoods walking or biking, the best time would be day time. Night times are rumored to have sketchier outlooks especially for women traveling alone.
In Glendale, a resident’s chance of being a victim of crime is 1 in 6.
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For a population of 13,976, this city has crime activities that put its name on the map. Crime rates are 66% greater than the national average and violent crimes are 60% greater. Violent crime rate per 100,000 population was registered as 631 in 2018. It was 437 in 2017 and 333 in 2016. The crime rate only kept growing year after year by 20 - 40%. Property crimes took the bulk of the total crime however, with 3,497 out of a total crime of 4,128 crimes per 100,000 people in 2018.
Strolling or biking activities are safe both at daytime and night times around the city, even for females and visiting tourists. It helps that there is visible police presence in this neighborhood. Public means of transit are relatively safe also with little or no reported incidents of crime or stolen cash. Hotels around the neighborhood have good safety records also.
8. Commerce City
The total population in this city is 51,731 and it has livability considered below average, based on its score of 66/100. Police officers for patrol in the city increased from 88 to 96 in 2018. This is because even though property crime has remained flat over the years, violent crime gradually increased up to 392 per 100,000 people in 2018.
Residents tell that the older parts of the city have had some gang terrain, high crime, and poor schools. Generally, thefts and vehicle thefts happen to be the most crimes plagued recently. Gladly, bus transits are free of petty thefts, keeping cash and personal properties the least worry about getting robbed. The neighborhoods have few areas that are sketchy and won’t ordinarily be traveled by tourists. So daytime and nighttime walks/ bike strolls are safe for everyone including females traveling by themselves. Hotels have no crime incidents reported so far.
9. Greenwood Village
This city has 15,208 people living in it. The crime rates are 68% greater than the Colorado average, which is 1.3 times greater than the U.S. average. For violent crime, it is ranked 16.1, while property crime, 49.8, on a scale of low crime to high crime for 1 to 100. Reportedly, year over year, crime has increased by 310% even with patrolling officers constantly around the neighborhoods. And as of July 2020, there were 5 registered sex offenders in the city. Few areas in Greenwood Village are crime-ridden but residents vouch on safety both at day time and night time for walking, biking, or any form of casual activities.
Pickpocketing and panhandling have been on the low, and fewer cases are witnessed. Consequently, your money and items are safe during commutes with public transport systems. In this city, your chance of becoming a crime victim is 1 in 20. This city’s nearby hotels, notwithstanding, are spot on for security attention.
A decently small city known as the Gateway to Great Sand Dunes National Park, with a population of 9,671 raided by majorly property crimes. While violent crime is 341.5 for every 100,000 people, property crime is 419.4. Drug usage is high, but partly from the legalization of marijuana. The residents here barely see any police presence and few criminal activities go unreported due to this. What has improved in this city is driving safety. Alamosa was termed Colorado’s second safest driving city from a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2019. For this, walking and biking for recreation become relatively safe activities both during the day and at night.
Tourists and female solo travelers can thus feel safe during visits. Public transportation is reportedly safe with no reports over the years on cash or wallet mugging.
Crime Situation in Colorado
Colorado crime statistics reveal that year after year for the past five years, Colorado has only but experienced an increase in violent crime. The crime rate in Colorado, compared to 2017, 2018 saw a 7.95% increase. Out of 25,201 reported cases, 14,403 of those incidents involved aggravated assault. While there was a fall in the murder rate from 2017, it was not very significant. Property crime, however, has shown a remarkable decrease over the years to date.
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Danger can exist anywhere and Colorado is no exemption. As the 8th largest state in the US, it is prone to have more people-to-people interactions and thus, more criminal tendencies. The state shows concern, however, to the safety situation with the regular increase in the law enforcement employees across the cities.
As in every big city, your level of alertness and street smart are as critical as your location. So keeping situational awareness all the time is the primary key to staying safe in Colorado.