FBI data from last fall show violent crimes, including murders and robberies, rose by 3.7 percent nationwide during the first six months of 2006. Those findings came on top of a 2.2 percent crime hike in 2005 — the first increase since 2001.I know in my own city that gang violence is exploding and the police seem unsure of exactly how to combat it.
That a growing number of offenders appear to be younger, and their crimes more violent, and that laws in some states provide few, if any, tough penalties on juvenile offenders.With nearly half of inner city students not graduating and high rates of inner city unemployment, this is not unexpected. We must do everything necessary to reverse this dangerous trend.
Many youths have little parental oversight and are too easily influenced by gang membership and glamorized violence in popular culture.
Loosely organized gangs present the biggest concern for law enforcement officials because they are hard to investigate and their members often commit random acts of crime out of self-protection.
Offenses committed by people using firearms pose a major threat not only to communities, but also to police. So-called “straw purchases,” where gun owners buy their firearms through a go-between is an area of concern.