North Myrtle Beach rates S.C. safest city. Myrtle Beach rates among most unsafe

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David Hucks
David Hucks
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at

According to FBI crime statistics, North Myrtle Beach ranks South Carolina’s safest city. Clemson comes in at number two, followed by the City of Charleston at number four.


Meanwhile, the City of Myrtle Beach ranks among S.C.’s most dangerous city at 31 of 33. The City of Myrtle Beach ended 2019 with a high profile, downtown murder.

Myrtle Beach even ranks behind the notorious crime-ridden City of North Charleston, S.C.

These numbers were compiled from data provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

North Myrtle Beach


North Myrtle Beach features outstanding city leadership provided by City Manager Mike Mahaney and Mayor Marilyn Hatley. Hatley and Surfside Beach Mayor, Bob Hellyer are considered the two most popular mayors on the Grand Strand.

Poor Leadership

John Pedersen, Myrtle Beach City Manager – unpopular in the small business community


Myrtle Beach, rather, is lead by City Manager, John Pedersen. His leadership is highly questioned by City of Myrtle Beach merchants, as well as, elected officials in Horry County.

Myrtle Beach ranked number one in 2018 and 2019 in business closings in Horry County. Myrtle Beach also rates number 1 among cities sued. The city is currently being sued by its own downtown merchants. These merchants filed a petition asking that the entire South-end of Myrtle Beach be allowed (by the state) to annex outside of the city limits. “Pedersen is a well known liar, and you can quote me on that,” said Tuvia Wilkes, downtown business owner.


The city finds itself in a high profile lawsuit with Horry County Schools over what the school system calls a missing $20 million for a promised school in Market Common. Accountants, hired by Horry County Schools, claim the city used rogue financial practices. Says the Spartanburg accounting firm, McAbee, Schwartz, Holliday & Company: “A detailed review of Myrtle Beach’s spending related to the redevelopment of the former Air Force base has revealed millions in potentially misspent funds among other issues.”

A high profile lawsuit with Horry County government concerning $41 million in annual hospitality fee collections was also filed in 2019 and is likely headed to the S.C. Supreme Court.


Grand Strand tourists are aware of the stark differences in the two towns. North Myrtle Beach tourism continues to grow in leaps and bounds. The City of Myrtle Beach continues its downward spiral into decline.

Business moved to Carolina Forest

As we reported in 2019, several high profile, former Myrtle Beach businesses chose to relocate outside of the city limits of Myrtle Beach. Many others simply chose to close. Read that story here:

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