The typical quiet Fort Collins summer had all but disappeared early this season as a result of the cityâ€™s increasing population, said Fort Collins Police Department spokeswoman Rita Davis.
Years ago, she said, summertime was quiet because there were fewer people, especially when college students left campus for the summer. With that, there was less crime.
â€œHowever, in recent years what weâ€™ve been seeing is that we really donâ€™t have a lull in crime,â€ she said.
In the first few weeks of summer, Fort Collins saw one fatal beating, a random drive-by shooting and a â€œsuspiciousâ€ fire that torched four CSU vehicles.
There were also 100 reported incidents of broken windows across the city.
â€œUp until just this last weekend, it was a normal summer,â€ Davis said in June. â€œIt may be all of the crime activities that occur this summer. We donâ€™t know.â€
Fort Collins residents close to individuals implicated in the increased level of mischief â€“â€“ both victims and accused perpetrators â€“â€“ raised concerns on locally-based websites that the activity is gang-related.
Davis was quick to warn against such speculations.
â€œThe crime that weâ€™ve been seeing, some of it might have some gang activity associated with it, meaning mostly gang-involved, not gang-motivated,â€ she said. â€œYou can be a member of a gang and you could go out and shoplift, but you didnâ€™t do it as a result of being part of a gang. It was just your individual decision to do that.â€
The last time the city experienced an uptick in gang violence was in the early to mid-90s, she said.
On the heels of these crime statistics, the Associated Students of CSU said Friday it is in talks with Fort Collins Police Services about how they can help prevent crime from happening in the cityâ€™s popular Old Town district.
The issue, explained Chase Eckerdt, ASCSU Director of Government Affairs, is the area poses a difficulty from 1 to 2:30 a.m. as bars close and people leave to find food and a ride home.
â€œOld town has been an interesting area this summer,â€ he said. â€œThere are fights, shootings… I think theyâ€™re just trying to get a little bit of a better handle on the situation, and weâ€™re interested in being part of those discussions.â€
Given the discussionâ€™s early stages, Eckerdt would not release details of how student government will be involved in helping to fix the situation.
FCPS Rita Davis said there were no particular crime news students should be aware of as they enter the fall semester.
â€œBut as students come into town, we want them to be cognizant of their personal safety.â€
Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did July 2010 or July 2011 have more crime?
July 2010: 652
July 2011: 804
July 2010: 757
July 2011: 681
July 2010: 389
July 2011: 620
July 2010: 1416
July 2011: 1410
July 2010: 149
July 2011: 178
July 2010: 400
July 2011: 339