MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – In our promise to keep the community covered on Myrtle Beach crime and where it’s happening, News13 asked the city for its 2017 violent crime data. We documented the locations and found how police are tackling the problem areas.
One of the newest ways officers fight and track crime is by continually monitoring the more than 800 security cameras across the city. Captain Joey Crosby with the Myrtle Beach Police Department said, “We’re transitioning to intelligence-based policing. This allows our crime analysis to provide us with information as to what’s occurring across the city so when we see crime trends occurring, we can identify that area and reallocate our resources to that.”
Specific areas of Myrtle Beach have earned a reputation for being dangerous, so News13 delved into the crime numbers to see if that perception was valid.
According to Myrtle Beach Police Department analytics, the city reported 364 violent crimes in 2017, including:
- Five murder or non-negligent manslaughter cases
- 142 aggravated assaults with a weapon
- 155 robberies
- 62 sex offenses
Some of the highest crime areas included Ocean Boulevard, North Kings Highway, and around 17 Business and Highway 501. The police department is focusing on these areas to reduce crime.
“There are a number of ways to do this. Things that we have such as directive patrols. Officers will increase their presence within those areas. You can use plainclothes officers, you can do an undercover operation, you can also use the intelligence that we have to determine is there an outside factor that’s causing this that may be coming into that area to commit crimes then we address that. So there are many different things that we are looking at as to how to effectively address the situation,” said Crosby.
Myrtle Beach Police have also turned to non-traditional policing.
“So let’s take for instance, you have a lot of armed robberies occurring at a gas station. Maybe it’s surrounding a community that has a population that does not have bank accounts. They’re doing a lot of check cashing at that gas station, and that’s when the people are leaving. They could be getting robbed of their money. Then what we would do, we address that situation, with the presence of officers, work with the gas station, but then we also would have to work with that community,” explains Crosby.
Other ways police and the city work to reduce crime include creating new ‘Safe Zones’ for internet purchase trades, hiring two full-time code enforcement officers, hiring more police officers, and starting business communication meetings. Police hope to build a relationship with business owners, just as they’ve done with neighborhood watch groups.
“Most importantly, what we’re trying to do, though, is develop our partnerships,” said Crosby.
Looking ahead, the department plans to add more officers, continue adjusting schedules, add more cameras, and work with law enforcement agencies across the state and country to inform visitors that crime will not be tolerated in Myrtle Beach. Crosby said one way the department reaches prospective visits is through social media. The data showed, as expected, more problems occurred between April and July during the height of tourist season.