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10 Most Dangerous Cities in Colorado in 2022 (with Pictures)

Town of Alamosa Colorado

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Known for its mountains, vast forests and arid deserts, Colorado is a massive and diverse state. With so much beauty staring us in the face, it may be hard to imagine dangers lurking about. But Colorado is no different than any other place in the world in that there are places where danger seems to thrive.

We will see that smaller isn’t necessarily safer in the list below. Only three of the cities on our list are greater than 15,000 people (and only one of those just barely). We will look at violent crime rate (VCR), murders, and property crime rate (PCR) in relation to population size. Keep in mind that according to the latest report from City Data, the average national crime rates are 205.8 and 178.6 for VCR and PCR, respectively.

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The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Colorado: A Quick Look

1. Glendale, CO

Glendale Municipal Center
Glendale Municipal Center (Image Credit: Jeffrey Beall, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 4.0)
Population 5,141
VCR 548.3
Murders 1
PCR 1,100.4

According to data gathered by a crime grading organization, a crime occurs every 50 hours on average in Glendale (Crime Grade). This data makes sense when you consider a property crime rate of almost ten times the national average and a violent crime rate that is more than double. It’s no wonder this town makes it to the top of the list regardless of its size.

2. Alamosa, CO

Alamosa City-Hall
Alamosa City Hall (Image Credit: Milan Suvajac, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Population 9,591
VCR 411.5
Murders 1
PCR 417.9

Over the last few years, property crime has been trending down in Alamosa. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about violent crime. Over the last several years, violent crime has gone up over 100 points; this is a drastic jump in crime per capita, especially for a town as small as Alamosa.

3. Canon City, CO

Historic Baraboo Square Canonc City, CO
Historic Baraboo Square Canon City, CO (Image Credit: Corey Coyle via Wikimedia Commons CC BY 3.0)
Population 16,725
VCR  443.6
Murders 1
PCR 393.0

Like the cities before it in the list, Canon City’s violent and property crimes are incredibly high compared to the national average; property crime is more so. An additional concern is the number of murders. Three murders may not seem high by comparison to a large city, but for a city of its size, this equals 17.9 per capita, which is three times the national average of 5.8 (CDC)

4. Sheridan, CO

Sheridan City Hall
Sheridan City Hall (image Credit: Jeffrey Beall, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 4.0)
Population 6,183
VCR 256.7
Murders 0
PCR 520.6

Sheridan’s violent crime rate is above the national average, and property crime is almost three times the average. Compared to others on the list, it may not seem overly dangerous. This is mainly due to a 30% decrease in its crime rate compared to the previous report by City-Data. It has been a steady decline over the last five years, which is great to see.

5. La Junta, CO

Downtown La Junta CO
Downtown La Junta CO (Image Credit: Billy Hathorn, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
Population 6,881
VCR 358.0
Murders 1
PCR  489.0

Both crime rates in La Junta are sitting uncomfortably high compared to the national average. Fortunately, the number of murders has not increased over the last five years, and property crime has gone down. On the other hand, violent crimes have almost doubled in five years. Its overall crime rate of 521 also keeps it in the top 10% of the most dangerous cities in the United States.

6. Denver, CO

Downtown Denver Colorado
Image Credit: mrminibike, Pixabay
Population 727,211
VCR 437.1
Murders 67
PCR 341.4

Denver is one of two huge cities on the list. At first glance, its statistics don’t seem much higher than the other cities we’ve seen so far. However, keep in mind that they account for a much higher actual number even though the stats are low. For example, instead of the average of one per year we’ve seen so far, Denver had 67 homicides, according to the latest report. Their homicide rate is almost double the national average. This—coupled with significant violent and property crimes—earns Denver its place on this list.

7. Trinidad, CO

Downtown Trinidad CO
Downtown Trinidad CO (Image Credit: Billy Hathorn, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
Population 8,200
VCR 234.1
Murders 0
PCR 364.1

Another city whose stats don’t immediately set off alarms is Trinidad. Property crime is double the national average, but violent crime is almost on par. The scary part is the drastic and sudden jump in violent crime over the last five years. Between the previous two reports from City Data, there was a 14% increase in violent crime. One positive note is the downward trend in property crime over the last five years.

8. Sterling, CO

Historic Downtown Sterling CO
Historic Downtown Sterling CO (Image Credit: Drmccreedy via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)
Population 14,495
VCR 534.1
Murders 1
PCR 293.6

Homicides have been sitting at one per year for the last five years in Sterling, but the same cannot be said about its violent crime. Violent crime was already double the national average, and then it doubled again in the last five years. The increase in property crime has not been quite as drastic. Nonetheless, it is going up as well. According to the latest data, sterling is currently ranking in the top 5% of the most dangerous cities in the United States. One can only assume this is mainly due to this significant increase in violent crime.

9. Colorado Springs, CO

Downtown Colorado Springs David Shankbone
Downtown Colorado Springs (Image Credit: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)
Population 478,221
VCR  344.6
Murders 23
PCR 322.9

Overall, Colorado Springs saw a slight increase in crime in the latest report. Unfortunately, there has been a steady increase in violent and property crime rates over the last five years. On the other hand, homicides have been on a downward trend over the previous several years. In the latest report, they were sitting at 4.8 per capita, which puts them slightly below the national average.

10. Lone Tree, CO

Lone Tree Colorado Municipal Building
Lone Tree Colorado Municipal Building (Image Credit: Jeffrey Beall, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 3.0)
Population 13,082
VCR 181.5
Murders 1
PCR 410.1

We included Lone Tree on this list for two main reasons. First, the property crime rate is more than double the national average and has risen over the last five years. The other is the steadily growing violent crime rate over the previous five years. If it weren’t for these two factors, Lone Tree might not have made it onto the list. If local law enforcement can curb the rise in crime, it probably won’t make the list next year.

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Has Crime Gone Up in Colorado?

According to a recent report, the average monthly crime rate in the state has gone up 28% in the last ten years, and 15% of that rise took place in the last two years. There’s no question that pandemic-related restrictions resulted in increased societal stress, causing this spike. The fact is, crime has been on an upward trend and shows no real sign of stopping, even as the nation begins to recover.

Property crime, on the other hand, is absolutely out of control. While property crime has been falling at a national level—even with the pandemic happening—it has been on a steady incline in Colorado. For example, the only place in the United States with more auto theft than Colorado is in Washington, DC. This theft is costing Colorado almost $1 billion dollars annually. It is shocking to think that auto theft was actually lower than the national average only ten years ago. (Common Sense Institute)

Street in Denver, CO outdoor dining area
Image Credit: islandworks, Pixabay

How to Stay Safe in Colorado

There are always ways to protect yourself. Even if you find yourself living in or visiting a city on this list, check out a few practical ways that you can minimize your chances of becoming a victim

  • Don’t go out by yourself after dark. Over half of all violent crimes take place at night (FBI). If you must be out after dark, walk or travel in groups to discourage would-be criminals.
  • Invest in a quality home security system. Home security systems such as floodlights, cameras, and alarms have a 60% chance of discouraging potential home intruders. Not to mention, having a security system can save you up to 20% on your home insurance. (Safe Home)
  • Awareness of your surroundings. This one is self-explanatory but worth mentioning. Try to avoid known dangerous areas, but if you cannot. Always be aware of your surroundings. In some cases, even have 911 ready to go in an emergency.

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After reading a list like this, our anxiety might be going through the roof, but there is no need. As we talked about, there are ways to protect yourself should the need arise to be in a dangerous city. And keep in mind, the ten cities listed are not the only dangerous cities. In reality, each city will pose dangers that are somewhat unique to it. However, with a bit of common sense and preparation, there is no reason that we can’t enjoy the beautiful state of Colorado.


Featured Image Credit:  Town of Alamosa Colorado (Image Credit: Jeffrey Beall, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)

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