Gangs committed about a quarter of all violent crimes in San Diego County last year and are considered a greater threat to communities than they were five years ago, says a new report quoted by the San Diego Union-Tribune. For the first time, 11 law enforcement agencies in the county were surveyed about gangs for a San Diego Association of Governments report.
The regional agency plans to build on the report's findings in future research. “We wanted up-to-date perceptions about the current scope of gang activity,” said criminal justice research director Cynthia Burke. “How serious is this issue and is it growing? And what do communities need to combat and prevent it?” Of the agencies surveyed about gang-related crimes, most said drug trafficking is their biggest concern, followed by robbery, and pimping and prostitution. Nearly 160 gangs and their 7,500 documented members operate in the county, the report said.