The Cause Of Gang Crime

950 Words 4 Pages
Gang crime today is no longer just an inner city problem. Gangs are often associated with inner cities where it had its early origins. However, they have now spread like the plague seeping its way into some areas of the U.S where gangs and the crimes associated with them were once unheard of. With now gangs being a nationwide problem it is important for law enforcement nationwide understand how gangs operate, their gang members, and the roots behind this phenomenon. By better understanding gangs it will help us get at the roots of the problem and better combat them. Nationally the number of gang members is actually very low according to Pyrooz (2013), “Gang membership is rare in the general population, as this national estimate translates …show more content…
have engaged in a pattern of criminal gang activity.” (p. 324).
Many of the larger law enforcement agencies have a team of officers and detectives who solely investigate gangs and gang related crimes. When they’re not out investigating a suspected gang crime they are gathering intelligence. Their job is to know the gangs, the members, who they hang out with, where they hangout, who their girlfriends/boyfriends are, who their wives/husbands are, who their family is, what cars they drive, who their feuding with, etc. Whenever a crime is suspected to be gang related they are always some of the first to respond. This team is commonly known as the gang unit or gang suppression unit. They are the most knowledgably and resourceful officers in terms of gangs.
There are however three general ways most law enforcement agencies recognize a gang. First would be the size of a membership which should consist of three or more individuals. Second would be having a common identify which includes but is not limited to a common name, sign, and/or symbol. And the last would be members engaging in criminal acts in furtherance of the group. Simply being in a gang is not a crime in itself unless you actively engage in criminal
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For the most part there are no rules when it comes down to crimes against rival gangs. When rival gangs happen to cross paths there is usually a type of confrontation that occurs between the both. This confrontation is what is known as the infamous “hitting-up” of one gang member confronting another person believed to be a gang member of a rival gang. It is usually initiated with the phrases “Where are you from?!” or “Who do you claim?!”. Which is basically asking what gang or crew are they affiliated with. According to Garot (2015) “Hitting-up creates all the modern conditions of a dual: It constitutes the type of split-second test of mastery and masculinity” (p. 157). With many gang members armed with weapons such as bats, chains, knives and guns responding to this question with the name of

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