It’s a small city filled with restaurants, college students, and some neighbors who eventually become family. However according to the online website safewise.com , it is a very dangerous city too.
“Two years ago, she was in an accident that was a shooting. She got shot in the foot just from being at the wrong place at the wrong time. We have gangs around here, neighborhood watch, a lot of signs have been staying red. There are a lot of break-ins, it is just not a safe place,” said Lindsey Jarrell and Jessie Wood of Beckley. The website reports Beckley to be the 25th most dangerous city out of a total of 30 cities. The ranking is based on data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is rated on the number of violent and property crimes in comparison to the number of people living in the city of Beckley.
“There is a problem with violent crime in Beckley, Raleigh county, West Virginia, and every other place in the country. We are working on it and people need to be alert. Neighborhood Watch Crime Stoppers is a great thing to help combat this and cooperate with the police,” said Scott Van Meter Raleigh County Sheriff.
When WOAY sat down with the Mayor of Beckley, he said he doesn’t agree with the ranking. “The FBI actually discourages the use of these statistics to compare yourself with other communities. They say the real test and the real good that these statistics serve are comparing how your community did this year compared to last year or previous years, that is a meaningful examination of the statistics,” said the Mayor.
Some West Virginians are not buying it as well. “No, I don’t agree with it, as far as I am concerned I can go any place I want to go, any time I want to go and I have no fear of being robbed or attacked,” said Thomas Stump of Beckley. Beckley resident Charles Covey added, “I’ve never had any episodes of any trouble.”
The Mayor of Beckley also said if you do feel that you are not safe, he will take further action by having that area patrolled more frequently.