‘Times have changed:’ Myrtle Beach works to prevent violent crime as more people come here

Grand Strand Crime

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The Myrtle Beach city council told News13 it is working to prevent violent crimes as more people travel to the area.

So far this year, six people have been shot in the Myrtle Beach area. The News13 special projects map below tracks every shooting in the area so far this year.

Myrtle Beach resident Jennifer Miller is calling on the city to take further action. “You know, you didn’t have to worry about somebody being shot over your shoulder,” said Miller, recalling how things used to be on Ocean Boulevard. “Kids rode bikes up and down the road. Times have changed.”

While Miller feels the city is a safe place overall, she believes more can be done.

Councilman Gregg Smith said the council is constantly working to lower violent crimes such as rape, homicides, and burglaries. “We’re trying to hit from every direction in an effort to reduce crime,” Smith explained.

The city has added 10 officers to the police department every year since 2017, according to Smith. Additional crime prevention efforts include upgrading street lights and keeping the city clean.

“A cleaner area is going to have less crime. A better lit area is going to have less crime,” Smith said.

According to Smith, violent crimes are down 18% in the last 3 years in Myrtle Beach. But he says that’s not enough. “If you see something, say something. The police can’t be everywhere,” Smith explained.

Here is the strategy outlined by the Myrtle Beach Police Department to ramp up efforts for this year’s tourism season. You can watch the full presentation here.

  • Adjusted hours for some officers to increase presence during the busiest times from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
  • Team members at the right places at the right time for calls for service and visibility
  • Take enforcement action when necessary
  • Education on ordinances, state laws, zoning, and more
  • Direct communication and social media
  • Public safety is a shared responsibility.
  • Business owner partnerships.
  • Community engagement.
  • Crime Prevention through Environmental Design.
  • Beautification Program with public works done overnight to ensure the city is at its best by morning
  • Traffic Congestion Management Plan based on city ordinance Article VII Section 19

Miller told News13 she’s depending on the city to get things back to how it used to be. “I hope that by the time summer hits that they will be up and prepared,” Miller said.

The Myrtle Beach Police Department said they plan to have increased law enforcement patrolling at night from 10 p.m. – 4 a.m. Smith suggests calling the police if something seems suspicious.

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