South Carolina’s violent crime rate up in 2019

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The rate of violent attacks in South Carolina increased in 2019, according to a new report from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

“I am extremely concerned by the increasing amount of violence in our state including the number of murders, assaults and violent attacks on law enforcement officers,” SLED Chief Mark Keel said in a press release. “I’m concerned that these numbers may go even higher due to the many stresses we have faced so far in 2020.”

The rate of murders increased by 6.7% from 2018 to 2019, the rate of aggravated assaults increased 4% and the rate of attacks on law enforcement increased by 20%, according to the 2019 Uniform Crime Report, released Monday.

The rate of property crimes decreased by 5.3%, making 2019 the fifth consecutive year where the state has seen a decrease in property crimes.

“I am pleased to see a steady decline in the rate of property crimes including burglary and arson,” Keel said. “We’re also encouraged to see the rates for robbery and sexual battery drop as well.”

Last year, there were 441 murders in the state, 3,362 robberies and 19,940 aggravated assaults, according to the 2019 Crime in South Carolina report.

The rate of violent crimes has decreased by 48.7% since 1991.

Rate of violent crimes by county:

Darlington – 601

Dillon – 319

Florence – 1,136

Georgetown – 323

Horry – 1,615

Marion – 171

Marlboro – 193

Rate of murders by county:

Darlington – 13

Dillon – 6

Florence – 20

Georgetown – 6

Horry – 15

Marion – 3

Marlboro – 6

Despite the downward trend, South Carolina’s violent crime rates remain above the national average, with South Carolina experiencing 488 murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults per 100,000 people, compared to the national rate of 381, according to America’s Health Rankings from the United Health Foundation.

Both South Carolina’s and the nation’s rates have seen a steady decrease since 2008, when there were 788 murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults per 100,000 people. 

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