Fox News last week told a national audience that Asheville has seen a 31 percent increase in violent crime in the last five years. “Asheville once touted as a top-10 tourist destination back in 2017, but with crime raging, the city now ranks, get this, in the top 10 percent of most violent cities in America,” anchor Todd Piro said. “That’s tough to believe.”
Yes, it is.
The 31 percent increase is not current. It refers to a period ending in 2020, when crime had increased nationwide. Violent crime — murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — went down in Asheville in 2021.
And the reference to Asheville being among the most violent cities came from an analysis, also based on 2020 data, that combined all violent crimes — a potentially misleading way to view the statistics,