RealNews

Rise in Killings Spurs New Steps to Fight Gangs

At a time when other types of homicides have been falling for a decade, police officials and criminologists are alarmed by one stubbornly volatile category, street-gang killings, whose spiraling numbers in recent years have prompted aggressive new antigang tactics in Los Angeles and Chicago, the nation’s youth gang capitals. Gang homicides rose more than 50 percent from 1999 to 2002, the last year for which national figures are available, but police officials say their strong efforts in Los Angeles and Chicago produced a sharp dent in the upward trend in those cities last year. Los Angeles, using new strategies pushed by Chief William J. Bratton, saw the number of gang-related homicides fall to 262 in 2003, from 374 in 2002, a drop of 30 percent. The total number of homicides fell to 506 in 2003, down from 645 in 2002, a 22 percent decrease. Full Story

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