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South Carolina Crime Rate: The Most Committed Crimes and Crime Rate Information for the State of South Carolina

Crime has been recorded across the United States since the periods of the British colonization. In the United States, an offense is meant to consist of acts such as homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault which are termed violent crimes; and burglary, larceny, arson, theft, and motor vehicle theft; which are the constituents of property crime.

Over a more extended period, incidents of violent crime have been declining throughout the nation, with the rates of homicide dropping from 30 per 100,000 people in the 1700s to below 10 per 100,000 people in the 1900s. After World War II, crime rates increased substantially across the United States, with violent crimes have quadrupled between 1960 and its peak in 1991. During the same time period, property crimes also doubled. However, since the mid-1990s, crime has shown a sharp decline, which is influenced by various factors including:

  • Increase in the number of law enforcement officers
  • Legislation such as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act
  • Increased incarceration since the early 1980s
  • Increase in the number of prisons per state since the 1990s
  • A decrease in the availability and sale of drugs such as crack cocaine
  • Change in demographics, with an increase in median incomes and more people escaping poverty
  • Increase in security technology which reduced property crimes such as burglary and motor vehicle theft
South Carolina City Crime Rate

The statistics on crime are published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. According to the FBI, over 1.2 million violent crimes were reported across the country in 2017, a recorded drop of 0.2 percent compared to 2016. On the other hand, over 7.6 million property crimes were reported in 2017; with a drop of 3.0 percent compared to the previous year. In an international context, crime rates across the United States are much higher compared to other countries with similar income levels, especially those in Europe, and Canada.

Crime Rates in the State of South Carolina

Over a seventeen year period, crime statistics indicate a downward trend for the occurrences of both property and violent crimes across the state of South Carolina. However, the rate of both violent crime, as well as property crime, was higher than the national average by 26.38% and 32.26% respectively. According to the latest statistics from 2017; there were a total of 185,824 reports of crime; with a majority of them being larceny, burglary and motor vehicle theft. Overall, there were 37.02 crimes per 1000 residents in the state in 2017.

  • Violent Crimes: Across the state, there were 366 cases of murder and manslaughter; 2,387 incidents of rape; 4,035 reports of robbery; and 18,108 cases of aggravated assault; totaling 24,896 incidents of violent crime. For a resident of South Carolina, the chances of becoming a victim in a violent crime are 1 in 198.
  • Property Crimes: In the state of South Carolina, there were over 160,920 incidents of property crime reported to law enforcement officials, with 114,032 counts of larceny and theft; 13,920 cases of motor vehicle theft; 32,967 reports of burglary. As a resident of South Carolina, the chances of becoming a victim in property crime is 1 in 31.
South Carolina Crime Rate

Safest Cities and Towns in South Carolina

According to the crime statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, these are the safest towns with the least crime rates across South Carolina:

  • Salem, Oconee County
  • Quinby, Florence County
  • Lane, Williamsburg County
  • Bradley, Greenwood County
  • Lodge, Colleton County
  • Pomaria, Newberry County
  • Salley, Aiken County
  • Smoaks, Colleton County
  • Ridge Spring, Saluda County
  • Windsor, Aiken County


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