December 9, 2023
Colorado has its share of violent crimes, and some counties see quite a bit more than others. Not surprisingly, law enforcement officials tend to police “known” violent areas more closely. But how do you know where the most violence occurs in our state?
The statistics from the FBI include a number of crimes under these terms. Violent crime, by the definition of the graph, can be classified as one of the four following crimes: murder, rape, robbery, or assault.
The violent crime rate is based on the population of the county. Thus, the actual number of reported crimes in one county may be a significantly lower than others with a lesser crime rate per 100k people. For example, the less populated Saguache County (#9) has a higher crime than Arapahoe county (#10), despite having far lower numbers of actual crimes committed because the percentage is higher.
For more details on individual cities, neighborhoods, and crime rates—as well as Colorado’s safest cities—visit Neighborhoodscout.
Counties with the Highest Violent Crime Rates in Colorado
- Arapahoe County
The third most populated county in Colorado is the home to the city of Aurora. Arapahoe County is tenth on the list, with 317.6 violent crimes per 100K people. In 2013, there were 31 murders, 296 rape cases, 527 robberies, and 1,005 reports of aggravated assault.
- Saguache County
With 332.6 violent crimes per 100K people, Saguache places ninth on the list. That position comes with a big caveat, though – the county has an incredibly small population of approximately 2,000 people. In 2013, there were no murders, 3 rape cases, 2 robberies, and 15 assaults.
- Lake County
Lake County is home to Mount Elbert, and contains only one municipality, the city of Leadville. 341 violent crimes occurred per 100k individuals in Lake County in 2013. With a population of roughly 7,000 people, there were no murders or robberies. There were two rapes and 23 instances of assault.
- Baca County
The southeastern most county in Colorado is 7th on the list. In Baca, there were 4 reported rapes and 9 reported assaults. There were no reported instances of murder or robbery. This factors out to 345.7 violent crimes per 100K people.
- El Paso County
The second most populated county in Colorado, home to the city of Colorado Springs, is 6th in violent crime rates. In 2013, reports included 40 murders, 488 rapes, 462 robberies, and 1,475 assaults.
- Clear Creek
With a population of roughly 9,000 residents, Clear Creek’s largest city is Idaho Springs. The violent crime rate for the county is 408.9 incidents per 100K people. In 2013, there were 5 rapes and 32 assaults. There were no reported cases of robbery or murder.
- San Juan County
San Juan County is the least populated county in Colorado, with a 2010 census recording only 644 residents. There were only 3 assaults, and zero reports of rape, murder, or robbery. Still, because of the low population, the crime rate figures out to 455.2 violent crimes per 100K people.
- Huerfano County
About 6,000 people reside in Huerfano County, and the largest city in the county is Walsenburg. There were 3 murders, 5 rapes, 6 robberies, and 21 assaults.
- Denver County
Denver County is the largest county in Colorado, and home to its namesake city, the most populated city in Colorado. The estimated population of Denver is roughly 600,000. The crime rate is 659.9 per 100k people. There were 40 murders, 514 rapes, 1,132 robberies, and 2,401 assault crimes in 2013.
- Pueblo County
The population of Pueblo County, home to city of the same name, hovers around 160,000 people. The county has the highest crime rate of all 64 Colorado counties: 662.9 violent crimes per 100k people. There were 5 reported murders, 171 rapes, 219 robberies, and 666 assaults in 2013.
What this top 10 really shows us is that it is very easy to twist numbers to alter results – especially when percentages are involved. Is your county on this list? Does it deserve to be? Watch out for an increased police presence and overzealous policing, and if you suddenly find yourself charged, don’t hesitate to find a lawyer you trust and fight back.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.