Aurora shootings up, but crime overall is down

By Erika Wurst for Chronicle Media

Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman

Aurora police recently released the city’s 2017 crime statistics, which show an increase in shootings, but also a substantial increase in weapons arrests and the number of guns taken off the streets.

“One of the biggest concerns of the community, and therefore one of our biggest priorities, is shootings,” Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said in a statement to the community.

While shootings increased from 2016 to 2017, from 132 to 147 shootings, the number of firearms confiscated has increased by more than 50 percent as well.

Last year, 253 weapons were taken in, compared to 165 the year before.

Ziman said the statistic “demonstrates our commitment to hold accountable those who violate weapons laws.”

Weapons-related arrests are also up by 37.5 percent, statistics show.

Of eight major crime categories (murder, criminal sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault/battery, burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft ,and arson) six categories dropped, sexual assaults stayed the same, and vehicle thefts increased over the previous year.

There were seven murders in 2017, compared to six in 2016. Robberies decreased nearly 17-percent, aggravated assaults/batteries went down nearly 20 percent.

Total major crime, which includes violent crime and property crime, was down a total of 8.9 percent overall in 2017. This number is down 69 percent since 1997; down 46.8 percent since 2007 and 25.4 percent when compared to 2012.

Ziman said these crime numbers are going down despite the growth of the city.

In 1997, the city had a population of 117,909 people. Today, that number is 203,195.

“Despite massive growth in the past 20 years, the statistics show that we continue to keep crime low over the long haul,” Ziman said.  “While we are never satisfied with crime reductions — because we firmly believe that one crime is too many — we are proud of the progress we made,” Ziman said.

Another statistical improvement shows a 66 percent decrease in fatal crashes, but a 30 percent increase over 2016 in the number of DUI-related crashes.

DUI arrests rose by 55.3 percent in 2017. Statistics show 114 people were arrested for drunken driving in 2016 compared to 177 in 2017.




— Aurora shootings up, but crime overall is down . —-