MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The Myrtle Beach Police Department released data detailing violent crime statistics over the summer months in the city.
News13 requested the number of violent crimes in Myrtle Beach between Memorial Day and Labor Day for each of the past three summers (2019, ’20 and ’21) from Myrtle Beach police through a Freedom of Information Act request on Sept. 7 and received the report Tuesday.
Data showed the overall number of violent crimes in Myrtle Beach was down summer 2021 compared to 2020 but up slightly compared to 2019. The number of reports for murder in 2019 and 2020 was one each. In 2021, the number jumped to four.
Myrtle Beach City Council member Gregg Smith said violent crime in the city has been declining for more than a decade.
“We’re in a consistent downtrend of violent crimes,” Smith said. “If you pick out one statistic you’re going to get whatever you’re looking for if you’re just looking for one statistic. But overall the crime trend in Myrtle Beach is down.”
Smith said the data from Myrtle Beach police stands out because there were so many people visiting the city this summer.
“We had the busiest summer ever, and yet we still kept crime down,” Smith said.
Smith said the men and women of the police department are most responsible for the decrease in violent crimes but added that community members had a hand in the decrease as well.
“Public safety is a shared responsibility,” Smith said. “I think the community has taken that to heart. If they see something, they’re saying something.”
One of the ways people are getting involved with crime prevention is through their neighborhood watch program, of which there are more than 30 such groups in Myrtle Beach. Bettie Olivieri is a member of the Seaside South Neighborhood Watch.
“We’re just trying to make a difference,” Smith said. “The people that get on the internet, I call them keyboard quarterbacks, don’t complain. Be a part. Do something to help.”
She said people in the city need to be active in the community and have to get to know their neighbors and their neighborhood so they can report anything that seems out of the ordinary.
“We need to be the eyes and ears of our police officers,” Olivieri said. “They’re overwhelmed.”
Smith said the people responsible for this summer’s murders in Myrtle Beach were all arrested by police within three days. He said that fact underscores the city’s commitment to fighting crime.
“If you come to commit crime in Myrtle Beach, you are going to be arrested,” Smith said. “You are going to be locked up. We will not stand for it.”
|MYRTLE BEACH SUMMER CRIME STATS||2019||2020||2021|
|MEMORIAL DAY THROUGH LABOR DAY||5/27-9/2||5/25 – 9/7||5/31/ – 9/6|
|Rape/Sodomy/SAO(sexual assault object)||13||20||18|