Oxnard streets are getting safer

Shane Cohn (Ventura County Star) | July 13, 2012

The City of Oxnard gang injunction seems to be working.

On Monday, July 10, the Oxnard Police Department and the Ventura County District Attorney’s office announced the removal of 81 named individuals from the city’s gang injunction lists.

The gang injunctions (civil lawsuits against gangs and their members) were issued in 2005 and 2006 as a way to mitigate crimes committed by two area gangs — the Colonia Chiques and Southside Chiques, who are believed to be responsible for more than 3,000 crimes in the city.

With 81 names removed, the Colonia injunction now has 276 active gang members and the Southside injuction has 66.

Police said removing the individuals from the lists means they are no longer affiliated with gang lifestyle, and background checks will no longer associate their names with current gang activity. Civic leaders say the injunctions have been successful.

“The big issue with the gang injunction was, we wanted to make sure we didn’t lock people into this for perpetuity, and they’d forever be stuck in this thing,” said Oxnard City Councilman and former Oxnard Assistant Chief of Police Bryan MacDonald. “It was built in there that if people decided to make a change for themselves and be a member of society, they can do it.”

The gang injunctions only apply to gang members in “safety zones,” which are specific geographic areas known for criminal activity involving the Colonia Chiques and Southside Chiques, both turf-oriented gangs. Both gangs engage in violent and serious felonies among rival gangs and innocent community members, according to police.

The Colonia Chiques have about 1,000 members and typically dress in Dallas Cowboys attire. The Southside Chiques have about 500 members and represent themselves in Chicago White Sox attire.

Read more at: http://www.vcreporter.com/cms/story/detail/oxnard_streets_are_getting_safer/9985/

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