Violent crime on the rise in West Ashley

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 6:26 PM EST
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WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCSC) - It’s not your imagination, violent crime numbers are up in West Ashley.

The latest figures show a 41% increase in aggravated assaults this year versus last year at this time, with 130 reports made in 2021 so far. Drug and weapons violations are also up by 31%.

CPD Data requested by Live 5 News shows offenders of these crimes tend to be younger. 35 individuals arrested for aggravated assault in Charleston this year were between the ages of 18 to 29, and another 20 between 30 and 39 years old.

Meanwhile, 103 arrested for drug violations were 18 to 29 years old and 55 between the ages of 30 and 39 years old.

Capt. Dale Middleton says it’s the result of a larger nation-wide trend and blames re-openings after the pandemic for the overall uptick.

“It’s an absolute concern whenever there’s an uptick in crime in the city’s jurisdiction. We take it very seriously and we try to address it as quickly and responsibly as we can,” he said.

A rash of shootings last month led to more eyes on the area and more boots on the ground.

Middleton said the department has turned to its central intelligence unit to find where the crime and send officers there.

“That gives us a much higher visibility to where we can hopefully prevent future incidents from happening,” he said.

CPD is also working with its detective division to identify wanted criminals. Middleton maintains a positive outlook with the new initiatives.

“We’ve had some good results and we hope to continue that way,” he said.

But in addition to the department’s efforts, they’re also depending on the public’s cooperation to ultimately lower the crime rate.

“We can’t be everywhere at every moment,” Middleton added.

If you see something suspicious you can call the Lowcountry Crime Stoppers tip line at 843-554-1111.

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