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      Myrtle Beach area officials dispute crime report

      The study by the group CQ Press compared the crime rates in cities of various sizes.

      They compiled their information by analyzing crime reports of violent crimes, burglaries and thefts.

      According to their research, Pine Bluff, Arkansas has the highest rate of crime.

      Sumter and Florence, South Carolina have the 5th and 6th highest crime rates respectively.

      Myrtle Beach ranks 14th in its crime rate according to research.

      NewsChannel 15's Joel Allen is working on this story for the News at 6.

      At a news conference this morning, representatives from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, Horry County, Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach met to address the "City Crime Rankings 2008-2009" report.

      Officials expressed concern that the statistics used by CQ Press don't factor in the 14 million visitors to the Myrtle Beach area each year.

      15th Circuit Solicitor Greg Hembree says if you take the total number of visitors and divide that by 365 days of the year, our ranking is actually closer to 149th in the country, instead of 14th.

      Hembree also added that South Carolina law requires law enforcement agencies to report crimes to the FBI, but cities in some other states are required to do so.

      Joel Allen will have a response from CQ Press coming up tonight on NewsChannel 15 at 6.