Do you feel an overwhelming disdain for a criminal underworld that can’t keep to its own confines?
Then you might be living in one of the most dangerous cities in South Carolina.
We’ve looked at the numbers from the annual FBI report to determine which cities in South Carolina are hotbeds for criminality, so you don’t have to find out yourself, the hard way.
Here’s your top ten:
So if you have a desire to fight crime and/or wear a cape, these ten cities may not be Gotham, but they could certainly use their own Batman.
How We Determined The Most Dangerous Places In South Carolina
While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the most dangerous, we didn’t want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI’s last three years of reporting.
Specifically, we analyzed the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year.
Violent crimes are defined as rapes, murders, robberies and aggravated assaults.
While we had data on every single place in the state, we only analyzed places with populations of more than 5,000 people as of 2013, which is the last year the report was available.
This left us with a total of 58 places in South Carolina to rank.
Finally, we made 2013 factor more heavily than 2012, and 2012 more heavily than 2011, since more recent crimes are a bigger factor in determining how dangerous a place is now.
If any places tied, we used the violent crime rank as a tiebreaker.
You can see our overall ranking at the bottom of the post. Note: As far as violent crime goes, the number one city in the state is Clover, S.C. which didn’t make the top ten due to a low property crime rate.
We must note that this report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments. It simply states where crimes occurred most frequently.
Violent Crime Rank: 2
Property Crime Rank: 2
Dillon may not be the worst place for violent crime or property crime, but two silvers medals makes for a gold in this contest. And a 1 in 66 chance of being the victim of a violent crime is still super high.
Dillon is a small city of less than 10,000 people, like 7/10 of the cities you’ll see on this list, meaning you might wanna stick to crowds if you end up here when you’re in the Palmetto state.
2. Myrtle Beach
Violent Crime Rank: 3
Property Crime Rank: 1
Folks on the East Coast love vacationing in Myrtle Beach – lovely beaches and boardwalks make it seem quite a safe summer retreat.
Yet a roughly 1 in 6 chance of being the victim of a property crime makes it one of the few places where wearing a wallet chain may not be a bad idea. And unfortunately for residents and vacationers alike, both violent and property crime has been steadily rising over the past few years.
Violent Crime Rank: 7
Property Crime Rank: 6
Compared to Myrtle Beach, Marion has seen a continuous drop in crime of late – just not at a quick enough rate to get it off this list.
And with residents still facing a 9% chance of being the victim of a property crime, there’s little cause for celebration. In fact, the latest FBI report shows that there were 91 violent crimes in a town of only 6,813 in 2013.
Violent Crime Rank: 4
Property Crime Rank: 11
While Spartans may be well-loved for their violence nowadays, most of their contemporary neighbors didn’t share the sentiment.
Spartanburg residents share their namesake’s violent streak, placing them fourth in the rankings for violent crime. Though only the 11th largest city in South Carolina, Spartanburg is the largest city in the top ten most dangerous. The good news for Spartanburg is that crime has been slowly, but steadily, dropping.
Violent Crime Rank: 13
Property Crime Rank: 3
Hartsville is less violent than Spartanburg, but makes up for it with a high rate of property crime.
There’s a 1 in 10 chance of being the victim of a property crime in a city of just under 8,000 people, so chances are everyone here knows someone who’s been a victim. But, like most of the other cities on this list, both violent and property crimes have been decreasing.
Violent Crime Rank: 5
Property Crime Rank: 14
Right on the border of South Carolina, Lancaster is known as the Red Rose City.
People there may be seeing red a little too often, with the 2013 numbers showing a 1 in 55 shot of being the victim of violent crime. And what’s worse, violent crimes have been about the same over the past few years, while property crimes have gone up 63% since 2011.
Violent Crime Rank: 15
Property Crime Rank: 5
The third smallest city in the state and the smallest city on this list, Walterboro shows that small cities can be more dangerous than the big ones.
There’s less than a 1% chance of being the victim of a violent crime in Walterboro, which is better than most cities on this list. A 1 in 10 shot of being the victim of property crime is what keeps Walterboro on the list.
Violent Crime Rank: 9
Property Crime Rank: 13
Camden is slightly worse than Walterboro in the violent crime category, with a 1.4% chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2013. On average, though, the amount of property crime is about the same at Walterboro, despite Camden’s larger population.
Unlike most other cities on this list, Camden has experienced an increase in violent crime over the 2011-2013 period, while property crime has remained fairly stagnant.
Violent Crime Rank: 8
Property Crime Rank: 15
One of only three cities on the list with a population over 10,000, Greenwood has seen a 24% decrease in violent crimes in recent years, along with a 12% decrease in property crime.
But even with these notable improvements, there is still a 1 in 78 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in Greenwood, which is a higher chance than 3 of the previous cities listed.
10. Lake City
Violent Crime Rank: 16
Property Crime Rank: 7
Though there has been a modest drop in violent crimes, the alarming 26% increase in property crime from 2011-2013 indicates that Lake City isn’t satisfied with being at the bottom of this list. In fact, it ties #9 Greenwood’s overall rankings, but ties go to the city with higher violent crime rankings.
Closing the books
So when you pull away bias and opinions, that’s the set of top ten most dangerous places in South Carolina that the data delivers.
You can rest easy knowing Charleston is nowhere close to being on this list.
Dangerous Cities In SC, Detailed
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