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The estimates were provided on a voluntary basis and may include estimates of gang members as well as gang associates. Likewise, these estimates may not capture gang membership in jurisdictions that may have underreported or that declined to report.
Based on these estimates, geospatial maps were prepared to visually display the reporting jurisdictions. These estimates do not affect the qualitative findings of the NGTA and were used primarily to create the maps highlighting gang activity nationally.
After further review of these estimates, the maps originally provided in NGTA were revised to show state-level representation of gang activity per capita and by law enforcement officers.
During the years the NGTA is published, many entities—news media, tourism agencies, and other groups with an interest in crime in our nation — use reported figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rankings, however, do not provide insight into the many variables that mold the crime in a particular town, city, county, state, region, or other jurisdiction.
Consequently, these rankings lead to simplistic and or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting cities and counties, along with residents. The FBI and the NGIC do not recommend that jurisdictions use the estimated gang membership totals as exact counts for the s of gang members. The NGTA enhances and builds on the gang-related trends and criminal threats identified in the assessment. It supports US Department of Justice strategic objectives 2. The assessment is based on federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and corrections agency intelligence, including information and data provided by the National Drug Intelligence Center NDIC and the National Gang Center.
Additionally, this assessment is supplemented by information retrieved from open source documents and data collected through April Scope and Methodology. The NGIC and its law enforcement partners documented increases in gang proliferation and migration nationwide and emerging threats.
This report attempts to expand on these findings. Reporting and intelligence collected over the past two years have demonstrated increases in the of gangs and gang members as law enforcement authorities nationwide continue to identify gang members and share information regarding these groups.
Better reporting and collection has contributed greatly to the increased documentation and reporting of gang members and gang trends. Law enforcement agencies nationwide continuously report new and emerging gang trends to the NGIC, as the NGIC continues to operate as a repository and dissemination hub for gang intelligence.
This information provided by our law enforcement partners was used to identify many of the trends and issues included in this report. A stratified random sample of nearly 3, state and local law enforcement agencies was surveyed to generate national, regional, and state estimates of various aspects of drug trafficking activities including the threat posed by various drugs, the availability and production of illicit drugs, as well as the role of street gangs and outlaw motorcycle gangs in drug trafficking activity.
Weighted national, regional, and state-level statistical estimates derived from NDTS data was based on responses received from 2, law enforcement agencies out of a sample of 3, agencies.
In iterations of the NDTS, survey responses were validated through targeted outreach to jurisdictions. In the NDTS, the key assumption was that individual respondents provided estimates on gang members for their jurisdictions only and did not include other jurisdictions.
In calculating the of street and outlaw motorcycle gang members, respondents in each region were asked to select from a series of ranges of s. The median s of each range were aggregated to generate an estimate for the total of gang members. In calculating the of street and outlaw motorcycle gangs, the low end of each range was aggregated to generate an estimate for the total of gangs and gang members.
About the NGIC.
This multi-agency fusion center integrates gang intelligence assets to serve as a central intelligence resource for gang information and analytical support. To assist in the sharing of gang intelligence with law enforcement, the NGIC has established NGIC Online, an information system comprised of a set of web-based tools deed for researching gang-related intelligence and sharing of information with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners.
Gang Definitions. Street gangs are criminal organizations formed on the street operating throughout the United States. Prison gangs are criminal organizations that originated within the penal system and operate within correctional facilities throughout the United States, although released members may be operating on the street.
Prison gangs are also self-perpetuating criminal entities that can continue their criminal operations outside the confines of the penal system. OMGs are organizations whose members use their motorcycle clubs as conduits for criminal enterprises. Neighborhood or Local street gangs are confined to specific neighborhoods and jurisdictions and often imitate larger, more powerful national gangs.
The primary purpose for many neighborhood gangs is drug distribution and sales. Regional Breakdown:. Executive Summary.
Gangs continue to commit criminal activity, recruit new members in urban, suburban, and rural regions across the United States, and develop criminal associations that expand their influence over criminal enterprises, particularly street-level drug sales. Key Findings.
Gangs are expanding, evolving and posing an increasing threat to US communities nationwide. Gangs are becoming more violent while engaging in less typical and lower-risk crime, such as prostitution and white-collar crime.
Gangs are more adaptable, organized, sophisticated, and opportunistic, exploiting new and advanced technology as a means to recruit, communicate discretely, target their rivals, and perpetuate their criminal activity. Based on state, local, and federal law enforcement reporting, the NGIC concludes that:. Current Gang-Related Trends and Crime.
Gang membership continues to expand throughout communities nationwide, as gangs evolve, adapt to new threats, and form new associations. Consequently, gang-related crime and violence is increasing as gangs employ violence and intimidation to control their territory and illicit operations.
Many gangs have advanced beyond their traditional role as local retail drug distributors in large cities to become more organized, adaptable, and influential in large-scale drug trafficking. Gang members are migrating from urban areas to suburban and rural communities to recruit new members, expand their drug distribution territories, form new alliances, and collaborate with rival gangs and criminal organizations for profit and influence.
Local neighborhood, hybrid and female gang membership is on the rise in many communities. Prison gang members, who exert control over many street gang members, often engage in crime and violence upon their return to the community.
Gang members returning to the community from prison have an adverse and lasting impact on neighborhoods, which may experience notable increases in crime, violence, and drug trafficking. Gang Membership and Expansion b. Approximately 1.
This represents a 40 percent increase from an estimated 1 million gang members in The NGIC attributes this increase in gang membership primarily to improved reporting, more aggressive recruitment efforts by gangs, the formation of new gangs, new opportunities for drug trafficking, and collaboration with rival gangs and drug trafficking organizations DTOs. Law enforcement in several jurisdictions also attribute the increase in gang membership in their region to the gangster rap culture, the facilitation of communication and recruitment through the Internet and social media, the proliferation of generational gang members, and a shortage of resources to combat gangs.
More than half of NGIC law enforcement partners report an increase in gang-related criminal activity in their jurisdictions over the past two years. Neighborhood-based gangs continue to pose the greatest threat in most jurisdictions nationwide.
Table 1. Figure 1.
Nationwide Gang Presence per Capita per State. Census Population estimates Chart 1. The NGIC collected intelligence from law enforcement officials nationwide in an attempt to capture the threat posed by national-level street, prison, outlaw motorcycle, and neighborhood-based gangs in their communities.
Gang-Related Violent Crime.
Gang-related crime and violence continues to rise. NGIC analysis indicates that gang members are responsible for an average of 48 percent of violent crime in most jurisdictions and much higher in others. Some jurisdictions in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Texas report that gangs are responsible for at least 90 percent of crime. Street gangs are involved in a host of violent criminal activities, including assault, drug trafficking, extortion, firearms offenses, home invasion robberies, homicide, intimidation, shootings, and weapons trafficking.
NDIC reporting indicates that gang control over drug distribution and disputes over drug territory has increased, which may be responsible for the increase in violence in many areas.
Conflict between gangs, gang migration into rival gang territory, and the release of incarcerated gang members back into the community has also resulted in an increase in gang-related crime and violence in many jurisdictions, according to NGIC reporting. Table 2. Chart 2. The NGIC collected intelligence from its law enforcement partners nationwide in an effort to capture the criminal threat posed by national-level street, prison, outlaw motorcycle, and neighborhood-based gangs in their communities.
The following chart represents the percentage of gang involvement in crime.
Source: NGIC data. According to National Youth Gang Survey reporting, larger cities and suburban counties ed for the majority of gang-related violence and more than 96 percent of all gang homicides in Gang-Related Drug Distribution and Trafficking. Gang involvement and control of the retail drug trade poses a serious threat to public safety and stability in most major cities and in many mid-size cities because such distribution activities are routinely associated with lethal violence.
Violent disputes over control of drug territory and enforcement of drug debts frequently occur among gangs in both urban and suburban areas, as gangs expand their control of drug distribution in many jurisdictions, according to NDIC and NGIC reporting.
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