October 20, 2020

Five Points, Denver’s central neighborhoods are summer’s most violent neighborhoods

DENVER (KDVR) – It isn’t your imagination. Denver’s city core neighborhoods, in particular Five Points, make up over a quarter of the city’s violent crime.

Yesterday, Five Points business owners voiced complaints of decreased foot traffic in their areas due to fears of violent crime and growing homeless concentrations from nearby shelters. The perception of nearby violent crime, Bruce Typher with Ken’s Reproduction said, deters the walk-in customers critical for business survival in the age of COVID-19 restrictions.

Crime does happen all over the city, but Typher is not wrong about his neighborhood. According to Denver Police Department data, Five Points had more violent crime over the summer than any other of Denver’s 79 statistical neighborhoods.

Denver police track crimes by category. Violent crime includes categories such as assault, homicide, gunfire or gun brandishing, and threats of harm. Five Points alone accounted for 6% of these kinds of crimes in the months of June-September.

In September, Five Points had as many violent crimes as the 25 least violent neighborhoods combined.

This is not exclusively a Five Points problem, but rather a problem of the Five Points, Capitol Hill, Central Business District, Cheesman Park, City Park West, Civic Center, Cole, North Capitol Hill, Union Station, and Whittier neighborhoods.

Denver has 79 statistical neighborhoods. These ten city core neighborhoods accounted for 28% of violent crime this summer.

Violent crime can be understood by city streets. Certain streets, and the areas within a few block of them, cluster the most violent crimes.

The downtown arterials with the thickest violent crime clusters are Colfax Avenue between Speer Boulevard and York Street, the 16th Street Mall area, Lawrence Street between Speer Boulevard and 20th Street, and the Five Points areas within four blocks north of 20th Street and 20th Avenue.

Neighborhoods through which Federal Boulevard runs west of Interstate-25 have the second highest concentration of violent crimes.

Citywide, areas near these streets and boundaries do have higher rates of violence.

The ten city core neighborhoods combined with the neighborhoods bordering Federal Boulevard together – only one-quarter of the city’s neighborhoods – account for 48% of the city’s reported violent crime.

One neighborhood does buck the trend – Montbello, the area north of Interstate-70 between Havana Street and Chambers Road.

Montbello is the only neighborhood that rivals Five Points, beating the downtown neighborhood for the month of September and accounting for another 6% of Denver’s violent crime.

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