CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – A recent crime spike has left many wondering, “Is the rate of violence rising in Charleston?” According to statistics, no.
The number of murders recorded so far this year is seven, which is similar and even lower than previous years, according to the Charleston Police Department.
However, with four shootings in just one week, Charleston residents are calling for change.
“As a community, I feel like we need to do better all around,” said Kayla Gurley.
Looking at the statistics from the last 10 years, the number of murders fluctuates from seven to 12. The difference from year to year might not be statically significant, but where the most murders happens is notable.
The Charleston Police Department’s annual crime report breaks down these statistics into districts, and every year without fail, the West Side ranks at the top with violence.
“Over here on Park Avenue, I feel safe, but the next street over, Glenwood, and the next couple of blocks up there, has been a lot of violence, and everything going on over there,” said Angela Gray, Charleston resident.
Gray has lived on the West Side for over 20 years, and even though she feels safe in her own home, she says she still takes precautions.
“Just staying in the house, staying out of the way, staying out of the crowds in the streets,” she said. “You know, what’s going on up there, so stay away from it,” she said.
With an increase in violence this week alone, the Charleston Police Department said they’re already working to find a solution.
“I’ve given directions to our patrol officers, the folks that drive the cruisers and wear the uniforms, to be in the area and there will be blocked off sets of time where these officers, their primary goal is to interact with the community out here,” said Chief Tyke Hunt.
Nonetheless, some residents are still pessimistic about anything changing.
“I just feel like it’s going to keep happening because nobody really going to stop them,” Gurley said.