North Charleston police is taking steps to combat its reputation as the 7th most violent city in the country (a not-surprisingly criticized ranking). It may just be coincidence, but the story in the Post and Courier comes on the very day that FBI data is released on crime in metropolitan areas in 2007.

Here’s the good news the paper reported today:

Between January and the end of the August, violent crime was down 20 percent in the city compared with same period last year, with fewer homicides, robberies of individuals, rapes and assaults. Holdups at businesses increased, but police said much of that can be attributed to robberies early in the year for which arrests have been made. Burglaries and motor vehicle thefts also are down.

Here’s the bad news the FBI reported today: In 2007, violent crime in North Charleston increased by 5.4 percent over 2006 (the numbers that the 7th placed ranking is based on). Rape increased by 13.6 percent, robberies increased by 22.1 percent, and assaults were almost the same, with only a 1.1 percent decline. Murders fell from 28 in 2006 to 26 in ’07.

That said, a 15 percent reduction since ’06 is noticeable progress. It’s just interesting that the news came on the same day.