CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Law enforcement agencies state they’re seeing an uptick of violent crimes across the Lowcountry as 2021 begins. According to the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), a violent crime consists of murder, sexual battery, robbery, and/or aggravated assault and involves the element of personal confrontation between the victim and offender.
For the Dorchester Country Sheriff’s Office (DCSO), they experienced little change in crime throughout the county during the months of COVID in 2020. Stating in part, “…for the most part, crime was down in almost all categories and level compared to 2019 in others. However, as we start 2021, we have experienced two shooting incidents earlier in the month and a stabbing just this morning. This is a little ahead of 2020.”
While the pandemic has seemingly slowed some crimes such as burglaries, larceny, and even murder for North Charleston, their department saw a 27% and above increase in all other violent crimes. This information comes from the NCPD’s internal record released to News 2 and not from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) final numbers.
In the City of Charleston, similar percentages are seen as Tuesday night, Chief Luther Reynolds began asking for action.
This is the second time in a matter of weeks that my officers have encountered a violent armed criminal offender. We have a serious violent crime problem, and we must all continue to work together and we need everybody’s help in addressing these crime issues.Chief Luther Reynolds, CPD
Several agencies also detailed that they’ve seen a spike in vehicle related thefts and construction thefts in which DCSO is attributing to many being out of work and trying to make ends meet by turning to crime.
Another unfortunate trend according to DCSO is that “following the first three weeks of the year is an increase in overdose.”
For more on crime statistics for the City of Charleston, click here.