After the demolition of public housing projects used as hideouts and a crackdown by city police, Chicago street gangs increasingly are moving to the suburbs, says a Chicago Crime Commission report quoted by the New York Times. The 272-page report found that Chicago area gangs were engaging in more white-collar crime and increasingly working with instead of against each other to make more money. “It’s a huge, significant problem which I would classify as our enemy within,” said James Wagner, president of the nonprofit commission. Wagner believes that the report, titled “The Gang Book,” was the nation’s first to survey police departments comprehensively about gang activity.
The report profiles 56 of the more than 70 gangs that collectively have more than 70,000 members in the Chicago area. It includes photographs of gang leaders, drawings of gang graffiti, maps of gang territory and a glossary of gang terms with more than 300 words and expressions. Of 81 suburban police departments that submitted responses, 31 reported an increase in gang crime in the past three years.