As the number of gang-related violent crimes continues to rise in Denver, police are reviewing an ambitious anti-gang violence strategy one year after they launched it, reports the Denver Post. The overall number of cases of gang-related aggravated assault shows a slight increase over last year, but the number of victims of such attacks has jumped nearly 34 percent. Police have also classified 10 of this year’s homicides as gang-related, three more than in the first nine months of 2012.
“Obviously we’re not where we want to be with gang crime,” Commander Mark Fleecs said. “I don’t think we’re losing the battle by any means.” Officials point to some positive signs: Gang violence remains below where it was five years ago, and the overall number of gang-related crimes has dropped in that time. The effectiveness of the far-reaching Ceasefire program, which Chief Robert White launched last year, is still in question. “If we’re targeting the right groups like we think we are, I’d expect to see, as a gauge of effectiveness, an overall decrease in incidents of violent activity associated with gangs across the board,” Fleecs said. Officials will study whether violence has dropped among the gangs whose members have been summoned to “call-in” sessions. They also will look at how many have availed themselves of social services, among other criteria.