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Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Report: Nevada Top 10 in Gang Members

10:58 |


Street gangs are a growing problem in southern Nevada. The FBI ranks Clark County as the 10th worst area in the nation for the number of gang members. More than 15,000 roam the streets, and those are just the ones authorities know about. The report shows the trends authorities are seeing in gangs. Biker gangs are getting more and more members. Hispanic-based gangs are expanding faster than other gangs. Twenty states, including Nevada, are seeing these same trends. Rachal Richardson used to have gang ties. Lights and sirens were something she was used to. Her ties to gang life are over, but not before being exposed to plenty of violence. The mother of four traded in violence and crimes scenes for a better life 10 years ago. She's not surprised Clark County is in the top 10 counties of the country when it comes to gang presence. "With sex is drugs and money and with that comes gangs, people trying to protect their turf, their name, or their pride," she said. With more than 15,000 gang members identified through the report, those who work closely with gang members say more needs to done. "We don't have enough money on prevention programs, where the kids can be involved and don't fall into that path of crime," said Esther Brown with the Embracing Project. Brown has never been in a gang, but moved to America from Spain and saw the need to reach out to those in gangs. She started the Embracing Project, a gang-prevention charity. "You are a gang member, let's look for solutions. What do you need so you can leave the gang. Some of the kids, it's difficult to leave the gang because their family are gang members," she said. She hopes this recent report opens the eyes of the community. "It's everywhere. People think, 'Oh, not in Summerlin. We don't have gang-bangers.' It's everywhere. Gang activity is everywhere," she said. Most of the gangs identified in this report are from street gangs. Two motorcycle gangs have seen a growth in Nevada, but gang-related drug activity in the report was fairly low compared to the overall gang presence in the state.

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