Report shows ‘alarming’ increase in violent crime in South Carolina
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division say there was an “alarming” increase in violent crime in the state in 2020.
On Monday afternoon, SLED officials released the 2020 crime report in which they reported that the rate of murders in the state increased 22.1% with aggravated assaults up by 10.1%.
“The statistics show an alarming increase in violent crime in our state,” SLED officials said. “The data collected showed the rate of violent crime has increased 6% compared to 2019 and 9.5% since 2015.”
The data compiled for the report come from sheriff’s departments and police departments across the state.
Authorities said property crimes continued to decrease except for arson which “alarmingly” increased 22.7% after steadily declining in 2018 and 2019. The report states that property crimes dropped 5.9% in 2020 when compared to the previous year.
It is the ninth consecutive year the number of property crimes have declined, SLED officials said.
“I continue to say that even though I am pleased to see the continued decline in the rate of property crimes, I am extremely concerned by the increasing amount of violence in our state, specifically the number of murders and assaults,” said SLED Chief Mark Keel. “We have seen murders increase 52.9% over the past five years. The final calculations for this report should concern every citizen in our state.”
According to SLED, gangs, drugs and criminal’s access to guns continue to play a significant role in the violence that the state is seeing.
“We must all work together to combat violent crime across this State and that means working with our elected officials, with our criminal justice system partners, and with the community,” Keel said. “We must have community support, community interaction, community cooperation and community investment to truly make an impact on crime.”
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