Although Columbia’s Overall Violent Crime Rate Has Declined, Homicide Rate is On the Rise
Although the overall violent crime rate in Columbia, South Carolina has declined, according to numbers recently released on April 28th, the homicide rate has increased.
Compared to this period last year, violent crime and property crimes have declined overall, according to Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook. However, homicides, in particular, have increased, something Holbrook believes is due in part to an increased rate of domestic violence-related homicides.
“It’s nice to talk about our downward trends in violent crime, but the reality is we are still well above the national average when it comes to violent crimes,” Holbrook said Tuesday in a report to Columbia City Council’s Public Safety Committee. “We have to address (community and police) relationships, but we also have to address violent crimes, gun possession and the availability of the guns.”
So far this year, Columbia’s police have investigated 4 homicides, each of which Holbrook said resulted from a domestic dispute that turned into gun violence, rather than gang-related violent activity.
“That bullet that goes downrange, it doesn’t identify race, sex or age. It doesn’t discriminate,” Holbrook said. “When you put that in the hands of an immature youth, they aren’t thinking about the outcome of what they do.”
One of the “youth” domestic disputes, according to Holbrook, involved the shooting homicide of 17-year-old high school student Eric Washington on March 15th.
More specifically, this time last year, there was only one homicide death under investigation. This year, there are 4 homicides under investigation. Overall, 9 homicides were reported in 2014.
Other violent crimes including sexual assault have increased as well: this time last year, 20 sexual assaults had been reported. In 2015, 24 have already been reported. Motor vehicle thefts have increased as well: this time in 2014, there were 162 thefts; this year there have been 186 so far.
Other property and violent crime rates have decreased:
- 181 aggravated assaults were reported last year; this year, 131 aggravated assaults have been reported;
- there were 101 reported robberies last year, this year 74 have been reported;
- last year saw 333 burglaries, while this year 292 burglaries were reported; and
- reported larceny this time last year came to 1,115, while this year the number of reported larcenies has dropped to 1073.
Protecting Victims of Violent Crimes in South Carolina
If you or a loved one are the victim of a violent crime like homicide, armed robbery, or sexual assault, you may be able to pursue a claim for damages.
Our crime victim attorneys review and investigate claims on behalf of victims of:
- Drunk driving/DUI accidents
- Assault and battery
- Murder or manslaughter
- Rape, date rape or other sexual assaults
- Child pornography
- Stalking or Kidnapping
- Police brutality
- White collar crime
Taking legal action is an important first step in overcoming the trauma many victims of violent crimes like homicide, rape, or domestic violence experience.
The Strom Law Firm Protects Victims of Violent Crimes Including Homicide
If you believe that third-party negligence led to a violent crime like homicide, arson, assault, armed robbery, or rape, which has physically and emotionally injured you or your family, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to help recover some financial stability while you grieve. The South Carolina personal injury attorneys at the Strom Law Firm offer one free, confidential case evaluation to discuss the incident and how we can help. Contact us today. 803.252.4800