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Combating gang activity - Essay Example

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COMBATING GANG ACTIVITY Law Enforcement in Combating Gang Activity Institution Instructor Gang activity has been a problem in the whole world since time immemorial. This is due to the fact that it is hard to fish out those who are involved in it and the fact that gang activity is almost synonymous with violent and criminal activities…
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COMBATING GANG ACTIVITY Law Enforcement in Combating Gang Activity Gang activity has been a problem in the whole world since time immemorial. This is due to the fact that it is hard to fish out those who are involved in it and the fact that gang activity is almost synonymous with violent and criminal activities. Most of the time, gangs have a formal organizational structure, definite leadership, an identifiable territory and recurrent activities mostly serious and violent criminals. As a result a number of law enforcement agencies have come up to try and combat the activities of these gangs. As such, the focus of this paper will be on how a specific law enforcement agency is trying to combat the violence of a particular gang. One particular gang group that has been notorious in Los Angeles is the Crips and Bloods. The Crips gang originated in Los Angeles between the mid to late 1960’s and the Bloods street gang was formed in reaction to the Crips (Dunn, 1999). Both gangs have loosely structured subgroups and are from specific neighborhoods with the Crips being associated with color blue and red associated with the Bloods. Earlier, they were concentrated in Los Angeles mainly concentrating in drug trafficking but they expanded and involved in other criminal activities too (Dunn, 1999). In a bid to combat the activities of this gang group, the Los Angeles Metropolitan Task Force Law enforcing agency was formed to ensure that the activities of this gang are put to a halt. To ensure this was done, they put in place a number of interventions (Juvenile Justice Reforms, 2012). In collaboration with the Federal Agency, the Los Angeles Task force passed an ordinance prohibiting cruising, loitering and any other erratic behavior such as display of weapons on private property, consuming alcohol in public and playing loud music (Juvenile Justice Reforms, 2012). This was done so as to reduce instances of gang related activity hence a reductions in the Crips and Bloods criminal activities. Apart from that they put a crack down on graffiti and other forms of vandalism by regulating the sale, purchase or possession of any materials that could be used to deface property. They also put in place parental responsibility where parents were held liable for any property damage that was done by their children. According to the Juvenile Justice Reforms, 2012, to further ensure that the Crips and Bloods activities are put to a stop, the agency prohibited any behavior that showed that one was ascribed to any gang group. One of this included adorning gang colors such as red for the Bloods and blue for the Crips. Any gestures that seemed to show affiliation to the groups was also prohibited. They also put a ban on access by gang members to public parks which were one of the places where confrontations between gangs always occurred. To further combat the gang activities, prosecutors in Los Angeles implemented four gang injunctions serving gang members with court documents and discussing the activities that were prohibited by the court. For example, before the civil injunction was put in place, the Blythe Street Gang always had drive-by shootings almost weekly to the extent that a neighborhood grocery store was forced to close down (Juvenile Justice Reforms, 2012). However, since the injunction was put in place, there was tremendous improvement and it was at least a year before drive-by shootings occurred. This is the extent to which the law enforcement agency’s venture to combat criminal activity thrived. Currently, many counties and cities are pooling resources with Federal and State agencies to control and fight gangs and their related activities. The Los Angeles Times reported that gang –related murders have accounted for roughly 40 percent of homicides in Los Angeles County in the earlier years (Juvenile Justice Reforms, 2012). However, since developing gang combating initiatives that bring together both the federal and local resources, the activities of most gang groups including the Crips and Bloods have reduces. For example, since their rioting over the Rodney King verdict in the summer of 1992, gang related violence of the Crips and Bloods have reduced significantly. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has increased the number of agents who investigate gangs and gang related crimes as well as an experienced gang prosecutor to deal with the various cases of gang related activity. There is also the strategy of focusing on long term investigations of entire gangs rather than dealing with cases that come up only (Juvenile Justice Reforms, 2012). For instance, In 1995, Governor Jim Edgar of Florida established by executive order the 35 member Governor’s Commission on Gangs had Federal and State prosecutors, police, educators, parents, clergy, health professionals, lawmakers and representatives of business and labor to help combat gang activities and drugs. Many gang members were found to be involved in crack cocaine distribution and to put a stop to this, strict legislation was put on anyone who was found to be involved in drugs, whether usage or distribution. As a result, only 8 of the 285 gang groups were found to be involved in drugs. There is also a program where gangs are being transformed into neighborhood clubs where the members share on the dangers of drugs hence discouraging each other from using and distributing drugs (Juvenile Justice Reforms, 2012). This is especially done in Los Angeles. In places where this has not worked effectively, prosecution of individual gang members who involve themselves in drugs is being done. Conclusively, existence of gang groups has been a major contributor to the rising number of criminal activities in various areas and there is the need of great intervention to put a stop to these groups. Although much has been done to stop them and there has been an element of success, much more needs to be done to ensure that there are no more gangs and gang rlated activities so that the society as a whole can be safe. References Juvenile Justice Reforms (2012). Combating Gang Activity. Retrieved on 9th March 2013 from http://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/reform/ch2_e.html Dunn, J. (1999). Los Angeles Crips and Bloods: Past and Present. Retrieved on 9th March 2013 from http://www.stanford.edu/class/e297c/poverty_prejudice/gangcolor/lacrips.htm Read More
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