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Friday, 27 January 2012

68,000 gang members counted by new Gang Book

10:41 | ,


Social media Web sites have become popular mechanisms by which gang members carry out drug-dealing and other illegal activity. This trend is explored in the Chicago Crime Commission Gang Book, which also highlights profiles, colors and other identifiers of 70 of the most prominent street gangs in Chicago, a city estimated to have more than 68,000 gang members, according to a news release about the book. Released Thursday, the book also contains maps of individual gang territories, and the gangs’ old “manifestos” outlining their original bylaws and current negligence of them, the release stated. The book was “developed as a training tool to be used by enforcement, parents, educators and business owners who may know little about street gangs operating in the city and suburbs,” Jody Weis, president of the commission and the city's former police superintendentd, said in the release. The book also includes data from a 2011 Chicago Crime Commission Survey of Gang and Drug Activity. One-hundred-seventy police agencies in the Chicago area participated in the survey, which found that graffiti, burglaries and drug-related activity are the most common crimes committed by gang members in the suburbs, the release stated. The survey found the Latin Kings, Gangster Disciples, Sureno 13s, Maniac Latin Disciples and Vice Lords are the top five most active gangs within the jurisdictions of the 170 police agencies. As for Chicago, “many residents of the city live and work within feet of a gang’s operations,” stated Weis. “Gangs constitute an entire sector of Chicago’s population, yet even the law enforcement organizations that watch them daily cannot precisely gauge the extent of their presence. “Gangs’ mode of operation exists fully apart from civil society, yet the repercussions of their gun- and drug-related activities directly affect society’s well-being.”

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