Aug 192011
 
Authors: Andrew Carrera

The typical quiet Fort Collins summer had all but disappeared early this season as a result of the city’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.

“However, in recent years what we’ve been seeing is that we really don’t have a lull in crime,” she said.

In the first few weeks of summer, Fort Collins saw one fatal beating, a random drive-by shooting and a “suspicious” fire that torched four CSU vehicles.

There were also 100 reported incidents of broken windows across the city.

“Up until just this last weekend, it was a normal summer,” Davis said in June. “It may be all of the crime activities that occur this summer. We don’t know.”

Fort Collins residents close to individuals implicated in the increased level of mischief –– both victims and accused perpetrators –– raised concerns on locally-based websites that the activity is gang-related.

Davis was quick to warn against such speculations.

“The crime that we’ve been seeing, some of it might have some gang activity associated with it, meaning mostly gang-involved, not gang-motivated,” she said. “You can be a member of a gang and you could go out and shoplift, but you didn’t do it as a result of being part of a gang. It was just your individual decision to do that.”

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 city’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.

“Old town has been an interesting area this summer,” he said. “There are fights, shootings… I think they’re just trying to get a little bit of a better handle on the situation, and we’re interested in being part of those discussions.”

Given the discussion’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.

“But as students come into town, we want them to be cognizant of their personal safety.”

Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Did July 2010 or July 2011 have more crime?

Disorder related

July 2010: 652
July 2011: 804

“Proactive Policing”

July 2010: 757
July 2011: 681

Property related
July 2010: 389
July 2011: 620

Traffic related

July 2010: 1416
July 2011: 1410

Violence

July 2010: 149
July 2011: 178

Noise

July 2010: 400
July 2011: 339

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