Rising Gang Violence Sparks 80% of US Crime

Groups increase presence on web, school campuses
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2009 6:34 PM CST
Criminal gangs in the USA have swelled to an estimated 1 million members responsible for up to 80% of crimes in communities across the nation.   (Shutter Stock)
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(Newser) – Growing by the year, US gangs boast about 1 million members and are responsible for up to 80% of crimes across the country, a new federal report says. Law enforcement crackdowns have helped, but gangs remain resistant. "They evolve and adapt,” said an FBI official. “They know what law enforcement is doing. Word of mouth spreads quickly.”

With 200,000 extra members since 2005, gangs increasingly obtain drugs from "foreign sources" and have become the “primary retail-level distributors of most illicit drugs," says the report. Many gangs also utilize the Internet and have increased their presence at suburban and rural schools, USA Today reports.