Will Concrete Barriers in Denver Prevent Crime?

Doug EnrightAugust 12, 2014

Denver, Colorado is attempting a concrete experiment that hopes to prevent crime, gang violence and help struggling communities rise above the violence. By installing concrete barriers at a single intersection, the Denver Police Department and state of Colorado is hoping to see a decrease in what they call “curb crime.” The first concrete barrier was installed at Holly Square’s entrance, which is located in the Park Hill neighborhood.

Unfortunately, there’s no real results, yet, but residents are angry at the eyesore the barrier presents to their bustling neighborhood. Some residents have cleaned, especially at night, that it can’t be seen and it appears as if drivers feel they’re going to drive into it. They weren’t given much notice either to its installation, causing some alarm the next morning when residents woke up and found the barrier in place.

Other cities are trying to stop curb crime, too, but they haven’t gone as far to install concrete barriers to do so. They’ve increased bike patrols, undercover police car surveillance and even security cameras. No other city in the nation, as of yet, has installed concrete barriers to try and prevent this type of crime. Until Denver posts some real numbers, one way or another, nobody really knows if this crime fighting experiment will work.

Whether or not concrete barriers will prevent curb crime is unseen. However, it’s true that these barriers are unsightly and in some communities, can bring down property values, especially when coupled with the crime statistics in the are. Concrete can be used in a of ways and it has been used before to filter traffic, divert people and create barriers although not specifically used to fight curb crime like this.

Concrete is an easy to use, cheap building material that can quickly create barriers such as what went up to prevent curb crime in Denver. Whether or not it actually works is another story. We’ll have to keep our eyes on this neighborhood in Denver to see whether or not concrete barriers are a deterrent to crime. If they are, we could see them pop up in this capacity around the country.

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