West Ashley 2022 crimes decrease, community still concerned
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As 2023 begins, some West Ashley community members are expressing concerns about what they call an increase in crime.
Some questions come after a Wednesday night shooting in West Ashley left three people under the age of eighteen injured.
Violent crime in West Ashley went down 12.2% in 2022, which includes aggravated assault, homicide, robbery and sex offense, according to the 2022 Charleston Police Department data.
Although data shows a decrease, members of the ‘West Ashley Neighborhood Crime Watch’ Facebook page often share concerns about safety and problems within the community.
One West Ashley resident, Roberto Armas, has lived in the area since 2016 and has had his car stolen twice during that time.
“I wouldn’t say it’s gotten worse, maybe just the type of crime that’s happening is escalating,” Armas said. It’s not any kind of different crime or violent crime, there’s just more of what was happening before.”
Nonviolent crime, including burglary and motor vehicle theft, went down 18% in the West Ashley area, according to the data. The only increase in 2022 crime includes drug violations and weapons law violations at a 38% increase.
Charleston Chief of Police, Luther Reynolds, shared that the entire city of Charleston saw a 10% decrease in violent crime overall. He said that continuing to reduce crime is very important for them to work hard on in years to come.
“It’s something that we are always going to focus on; any crime is too much,” Reynolds said. “If you are a victim, doesn’t matter what our numbers are, it’s something that no one wants to be a victim of.”
By using the West Ashley Facebook group, over 6,000 people can update others, which Armas thinks is crucial.
“If the neighborhoods could get together and share more information like ring cameras and security cameras, it would be a lot easier to properly catch someone,” he said. “No one likes getting their stuff going through, especially where you sleep. You sleep so close to where the crime is happening; no one feels safe that way.”
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.