Gang-Related Crimes on the Decline in Northern VA | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Gang-Related Crimes on the Decline in Northern VA

Play associated audio

A coalition of law enforcement agencies in Northern Virginia has released what it's calling a comprehensive look at gang activity across the region. The assessment paints a fairly rosy picture of the region's fight against criminal gangs.

Based on data from 2003 through 2008, it showed downward trends in several gang-related crime categories -- including robberies, burglaries, and violent crimes. But Loudoun County Sheriff Steve Simpson, a director of the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force, says no one should think Northern Virginia is close to eradicating the problem.

"You don't get rid of them -- they don't go anywhere. They just don't commit the crimes they've been committing -- they're not as active. But they're still here," Simpson says.

Local police say gangs are becoming more organized and sophisticated. Lillian Brooks, who works with Alexandria's Juvenile Court, says the community needs to do a better job educating young people about the perils of gang life. "It's out there. It's just like everywhere. It's out there and to say that we don't have it is living in a dreamworld, frankly," Brooks says.

The assessment did find the region lacking in community programs targeting gang-involved teenagers...researchers say many community programs have academic requirements that may discourage participation.

Jonathan Wilson has more...

WAMU 88.5

D.C. Nonprofit Commemorates 100th Anniversary Of 'Flanders Fields'

A local non-profit is marking the 100th anniversary of a famous war poem with an event and the launch of a new fund for veterans.

NPR

'Into The Wild' Author Tries Science To Solve Toxic Seed Mystery

Jon Krakauer has long been haunted by how Christopher McCandless died in the Alaskan wilderness. In a scientific journal, he and a chemist show that the seeds McCandless consumed can contain a toxin.
WAMU 88.5

Virginia Privacy Advocates See Win On Drones, Loss On License Plate Readers

Police in Virginia will have to get a warrant before using a drone in a criminal case, a victory for privacy advocates, but a measure to limit data collection from license plate readers was shot down.

NPR

The Promise And Potential Pitfalls Of Apple's ResearchKit

Apple's new mobile software platform is designed to help collect data for medical research, but concerns have been raised about privacy and informed consent.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.