Study names North Myrtle Beach safest city in S.C.

Study names North Myrtle Beach safest city in S.C.

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - North Myrtle Beach residents have another reason to boast.

A new survey from Backgroundchecks.org found out of all of South Carolina cities, North Myrtle Beach is the safest.

The man who leads the city’s police department said it takes plenty of work to earn that honor.

“It doesn’t surprise me," began North Myrtle Beach Police Chief Greg Purden. "We’re a very proactive police force and we’re very active on patrol.”

The study measured violent and property crime stats collected by the FBI in 2018 to create a safety index. It shows that while property crime is high in North Myrtle Beach, the violent crime rate is well below the state average.

“It definitely makes me happy," said Scott Lomax, a resident who moved to NMB nearly 6 years ago. "I haven’t had one problem with crime.”

But North Myrtle Beach’s safety numbers could be skewed due to seasonal residents. City administrators estimate that only about 16,000 people live in North Myrtle Beach permanently with a peak of 100,000 in the area during peak season.

“In the offseason, there’s hardly anybody, not even a car going down the street,” said Arnold Wellens, a Maryland native who recently moved to North Myrtle.

Population fluctuations could impact annual crime data depending on when it’s measured. But until the next study, law enforcement in North Myrtle Beach is focused on keeping the streets safe.

“Having good partnerships is key. And if you don’t have those partnerships or relationships. It’s hard to be effective," Purden said.

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