South Carolina's gang problem is widespread and poses a significant threat to the public, a group of lawmakers and community leaders said yesterday, reports the Columbia State. Among recommendations from the Gang Prevention Study Committee, created last year by legislators and led by Attorney General Henry McMaster: A grand jury should investigate gang-related crimes and gather information on the structure and organization of gangs; the state should provide training for police and the public service community to combat gang-related crimes; schools, parents, concerned residents, and youths must be educated to the dangers of criminal gangs.
The report called for a comprehensive state antigang plan. The average gang member is between 15 and 16, and is recruited at age 13. “We do have a gang problem in South Carolina,” McMaster said. “There are a lot of people who don't believe that we do. They're here, and they're here to stay.”