Gang Activity Increasing In North Carolina
Law enforcement officials across North Carolina are aware of more gangs and members than five years ago and are doing more to combat them, according to a new study released this week by the Governor's Crime Commission.
The study reported 387 gangs in the state with 8,517 members last year, which is up 68 percent when compared with police responses from a 1999 questionnaire. However, it is not clear how much those numbers signal a rise in gang membership and how much is attributed to police better recognizing gang activity. Many police agencies are now reporting and tracking gang-related crimes better than in years past.
The General Assembly also recognizes this growing problem. The House Select Committee on Gang Prevention met prior to the start of this year's session in January and made several recommendations on how to prevent gang activity and to increase criminal penalties. The House budget also included $3 million in grants to prevent gang violence.