By Summer Huechtker|February 19, 2020 at 6:50 AM EST - Updated February 19 at 6:58 AM
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - City of Charleston officials say there has been a rise in people taking to social media to report crime in their neighborhoods.
Some of the most common issues have been auto theft, car break-ins, and different property being vandalized.
Tonight the City of Charleston is partnering with the Police Department to discuss misconceptions around crime reports and how to better handle them in the community.
This meeting will be open to the public but will be specifically geared towards people who live in District Three, which includes areas of West Ashley and Downtown Charleston.
The conversation will be led by District Three Councilman, Jason Sakran.
Sakran says the goal is to have a conversation for community members to share with the police what is happening in their neighborhoods and ask them questions.
He says he called this meeting in an attempt to do a better job of connecting the community with the local police, so they can better understand each other’s challenges.
The Police Department will be there to address issues like crime reports to trust on social media.
"So, you know, part of this is just having an honest conversation. Just because its on social media, and the advent of social media, a lot of things are shared, which sometimes gives the impression that there is an up-take. I wanted to give the police department the opportunity to really share the data with us over the past couple of years on whether there's an up-take or not," said Jason Sakran, Charleston City Councilmember District Three.
Charleston Police want people to know that when a crime happens, the first thing you should do is call the police. They say you can also ask to talk to the police lieutenant in your area if you have questions regarding crime in your neighborhood.
The community will have an opportunity to learn statistics on crime in their neighborhoods. The police department also wants the public to better understand the issues they are dealing with as well, such as recruitment shortages.
City officials and the Charleston Police Department want there to be complete transparency between the community and city officials.
"It's just one step in a long process of having a conversation. You know the conversation's not going to end tonight. I foresee this happening, you know, whether it's monthly, or monthly, or you know even annually. Talking about crime and safety in our neighborhood is something that has to be talked about and we need to be working in partnership with the police department," said Sakran.
Sakran added that he hopes this can lead to other community discussions surrounding other topics of concern, like affordable housing and flooding.
The community conversation will be tonight at the Charleston Charter for Math and Science Auditorium at 6 p.m.
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