The criminal street gangs and associated criminal activity can be seen in almost every community in America. Gang activity impacts community quality of life, economy and our schools. Gangs participate in all levels of crime, i.e., white collar crime, property crime and violent crime. One proven gang intervention strategy is a coordinated information sharing effort between the community, local law enforcement, and community agencies that facilitate the targeting of gang members involved in criminal activity.
Criminal Street Gang Defined
"Criminal street gang" is three or more persons having a common identifying sign or symbol or an identifiable leadership who continuously or regularly associate in the commission of criminal activities.
Indicators of Gang Activity
- Gang Attire — Gang members usually dress in a similar fashion either by style and or colors. Some gang members identify their members by wearing uniforms of certain athletic teams (professional or collegiate).
- Gang Nicknames — Gang members may use nicknames to identify themselves. The gang nicknames identify members among their peers. The nicknames may be a term of endearment which members may display as a tattoo or in their graffiti.
- Gangs identify themselves by adopting a name. This name can be anything from a street name, bus route, or neighborhood name. Gangs have been known to “tag” or paint graffiti in the territory they control