Police Officials Note Gang Crime Decline

Jonathan Van Dyke (Gazettes.com) | July 27, 2011

Early statistics show extreme gang violence is on the decline this year, law enforcement officials say.

According to Long Beach Police Department numbers, gang-related shootings have decreased by 30.7% (56 through mid-July versus 84 last year through the same time in 2010) and gang-related murders have decreased by 37.5% (5 versus 12 during same periods).

Officials said they credit a number of methods, but that the myriad gang injunctions protecting the city continue to be a huge help in controlling gang-related issues.

“When you look at those numbers and how many people have been served for injunctions, you can see that this is a great tool to combat overall gang violence,” said Lt. Alex Avila, LBPD Gang Enforcement Section. “Throughout the whole year we have been (better). At 30%, we’ve been holding for some time and we hope we can achieve at least that (improvement for the entire year).”

Avila said his unit continues to see dividends paid from the latest gang injunction that covers the North Side Longos and Sureños — two groups affiliated with the Mexican Mafia. The injunction is of particular importance because the term Sureños covers a number of gangs all over the county. The injunction includes much of North Long Beach, including all of the Ninth City Council District and the northern part of the Eighth Council District (north of Del Amo Boulevard).

“This is what is so good about incorporating Sureños in this injunction, because we know that gangs come from out of the city and they conspire to commit criminal acts here in the city with our local gang members,” Avila said. “If we didn’t have that … we wouldn’t have them enjoined as a small population in North Long Beach … meanwhile they are getting away with their criminal activity because we don’t have the tools to get them.”

Avila cited a June 2 incident that resulted in a drug bust. Police were working the 5200 block of Linden Avenue at an apartment complex known for gang activity, he said.

Read more at: http://www.gazettes.com/news/crime/police-officials-note-gang-crime-decline/article_dbdf8a3c-b883-11e0-812a-001cc4c03286.html

Photo credit: Brittany Murray / Press Telegram

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