The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office reported a 19 percent decrease in crime from 2012 to 2013, with the total number of offenses dropping to 1,225 from 1,501.
“This reflects the overall downward trend in crime nationwide, which I would attribute to better policy, technology, and communication between communities and response agencies,” sheriff’s spokesman Jared Kramer said. “We hope to continue to see this trend.”
Not all crime decreased, however. The number of reported rapes rose to 32 in 2013 from 14 the year before. Some of this increase can be attributed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s redefinition of rape.
Rape was previously defined as “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” But that excluded several types of sexual assaults so the definition was expanded to include “penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim,” effective Jan. 1, 2013.
However, Kramer said that this new definition accounts for only 20 percent of the increase in sexual assaults from 2012 to 2013 in Larimer County. This means that the number would still have almost doubled had the definition not changed.
Kramer also said some of increase in sex-assault reports may be due to the Larimer County Sheriff taking over policing Berthoud after the police department was dissolved. He said the additional suburban territory likely will cause increases in the overall number of crime reports in the coming years as well.
The department is planning to hire a crime analyst in the near future to observe changes over time and provide data on the possible causes. Until then, deputies can only speculate as to why certain crimes increase or decrease year to year.
“I haven’t noticed a decrease in crime, and our deputies are as busy as ever,” said Executive Officer Nick Christensen. “It’s unfortunate that we don’t have anyone to monitor these trends.”
Read the full report of Larimer County Crime in 2013 here.