State investigators concerned about murder rate in SC

The rate of murder is at its highest level since 1991, SLED says
State investigators say law enforcement needs the public’s help to reverse the state’s “increasing” murder rate.
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 3:00 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2022 at 5:59 PM EST

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - State investigators say law enforcement needs the public’s help to reverse the state’s “increasing” murder rate.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division released its 2021 crime report on Thursday. The data compiled for the report comes from sheriff’s offices and police departments across the state.

The rate of murders increased by 0.89% from 2020 to 2021, while weapon law violations were up 4.2%.

SLED Chief Mark Keel says the rate of murders has increased by 52.2% over the past ten years.

“I am extremely concerned by the increasing number of murders in our state; however, I am optimistic to see the overall violent crime rate decreased by 5.1% in 2021 after historic highs in 2020,” Keel said.

In total, there were 566 murders in 2021.

“We must all work together to combat crime in our communities, and that means working with our elected officials, criminal justice system partners and community leaders,” Keel said. “We must have positive community partnerships, interaction, support and investment to truly make an impact on crime.”

SLED says the rate of murder is at its highest level since 1991.

A full breakdown of the 2021 violent crime data is listed below:

Violent Crime20202021
Murders561566
Sexual battery2,5042,515
Robbery3,2382,639
Aggravated assault22,05721,580

The data also includes the number of property crimes in 2021. Overall, the state saw a decrease in all property crime categories besides motor vehicle theft.

The 2021 data is listed below:

Property Crime20202021
Burglary22,54519,453
Larceny/theft106,46798,216
Arson751723
Motor vehicle theft15,51315,680