(WSPA) – Violent crime doesn’t have a home address and in some parts of the Upstate the most serious crimes may be close to home.
7News investigative producer Mike Owens and reporter Gordon Dill tracked every Upstate law enforcement agency and all of the most violent crimes in the area to find patterns in criminal activity and locate the hotspots across the region. In one case, the violence covers and entire county.
Of course, each story, every act of criminal violence is both tragic and unique. But unless you’re a victim, the sheer volume of violent crimes on the nightly news can begin to blend together.
Nationally, after decades of decline, violent crime rates have begun to inch upward in some areas. But how real that increase feels may depend on how closely it hits home.
In the Upstate, it’s especially real for anyone living in Anderson County.
“It used to be isolated to certain a certain areas in Anderson County and now if feels like it’s everywhere,” said Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride.
7News asked more than a dozen law enforcement agencies for data on the most violent crimes like murder and aggravated assaults.
In order to compare different departments, the team standardized the data and narrowed it down to individual investigations of murder, attempted murder, and aggravated assault from the beginning of 2013 through the end of 2016. The data does not include criminal domestic violence or child abuse.
There are also some agencies that said they were unable to provide the requested data, like the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office.
The results were clear. Anderson County was unlike any other part of the Upstate. Sheriff’s deputies there investigate more of the included crimes than deputies in Greenville and Spartanburg Counties combined.
Sheriff McBride said he was not surprised by the findings.
“I think people can feel it. I think people in Anderson County have felt this for quite a while,” McBride said.
Not only is the problem of violent crime larger in Anderson County, it is unusually widespread. In most counties there are smaller clusters of violent crime. In Spartanburg County, the 100block of Norris Street had 33 of the included investigations in four years. The Shemwood Crossing apartments in Greenville County had 40.
But in Anderson County, the area with the most calls, the Fairview Garden Apartments had just 14 included investigations. The rest are spread out across the county with few addresses repeated more than once.
The violence is countywide and few areas haven’t had at least some calls for service for murder or aggravated assault.
Sheriff McBride said he office will try adding more patrols, including nearly doubling the number of deputies working each patrol shift.
“Boots on the ground,” McBride said, “I’m not going to say it’s the remedy, but it’s how we fight back.”
The map below shows all of the included crimes from agencies that responded to the 7NEWS request for information. You can use it to zoom in to the neighborhood where you live and work and where your children go to school.