Crime is down in Darlington

By Jana E. Pye, Editor,

Every so often, we get a call from a reader, or an email, or a Facebook message asking, “Is this post true, that we have the worst crime in America?”

Unfortunately, websites trying to lure more “clicks” will tempt readers on social media to their site by posting outlandish and often wildly untrue facts.
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Sometimes, they do it by saying great things about your area. I’ve fallen victim to a few of those before, there was one a few years ago that touted this area as being voted best by NASCAR fans.

But, after more checking, I found that they plugged every NASCAR track city into similar posts across the nation, and culling just enough details about each location to make it seem legitimate.

The crime stories that are floating around lately are shocking and make it seem that we are living in the worst location in America.
Some of it is pulled from old reports, and some is just inflated to the point it cannot be trusted.

So, I asked someone I could trust, the Chief of Police in Darlington, Danny Watson. He provided an update a few months ago, and I wanted to see how we are doing.

“As we have now finished the first couple of months it is a good time to look at where we are statistically speaking for crime in our city in comparison to last year at the same time,” said Chief Watson.

The numbers are comparing the first two months of this year, to the exact two months last year.

“The primary thing of note is the reduction in motor vehicle break-ins, which is absolutely wonderful.” Said Watson. “We have struggled with that over the last couple of years. Our agency has done a tremendous job in bringing this under control, with the help of our uniform patrol and investigations personnel.”

Watson said that accelerated traffic enforcement, and neighborhood patrols have also contributed to a significant amount to help to bring the number of felonies down.

According to Watson, witnessing more blue lights, and people getting pulled over, drivers tend to start slowing down and being more careful.

“This has also reduced the number of major traffic accidents in problem areas such as the intersection near the HWY 151 off ramp, the 52 Bypass intersections near McDonald’s and the 52/340 intersection,” said Watson. “ The only anomaly that we have thus far are the three car thefts; we will continue to watch that closely as the year progresses.”

Watson urges readers to call the police department anytime they see suspicious activity. (843) 398-4026 and 911 for emergencies.

“Over the last ten years our numbers of major crimes have dropped significantly,” said Watson. “Although there will probably never be a year of no crime at all we can always hope.”

Author: Duane Childers

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