Community Guide to Gang-Related Information
What is a Gang?
A group or association of three or more persons who may have a common identifying sign, symbol, or name and who individually or collectively engage in, or have engaged in, criminal activity which creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.
Currently Street Gangs are a very hot topic of conversation. The concern for educating the public as well as educating officers facing these challenges is to answer some of the constant questions being asked, such as:
1. Is it illegal to be in a gang?
Currently in NC, it is not a crime to be in a gang. However, the crimes committed while in the presence or in association of a street gang, are tried as aggravating factors in the court system.
2. Is it true that once you're in a gang, you can’t get out?
Law enforcement has done extensive research and documented cases were many gang members have been able to leave their gang safely. The situation depends entirely on the circumstances. As a community we are in the process of developing programs to assist juveniles involved in gangs to seek better options and life choices.
3. Are real gangs and gang members, only in large cities?
Evidence shows that many larger street gangs do originate in larger more metropolitan cities. However, these gangs have begun migrating or moving into other more rural parts to either avoid detection from police or to continue criminal enterprises. Different agencies constantly share information with other police agencies regarding Gang members to improve the safety of the community and its officers.
4. Are females involved in gangs?
Females are now seen as active members of many street gangs. Roughly 5% of gangs are comprised of females.
How to Recognize the Signs of Gang Association in Your Child
Youth who are on the fringe of gang involvement usually display some of the following behaviors and characteristics. While these guidelines are not written in stone, a combination of these signs is a good indication that a child is more likely to be involved in a gang.
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS:
Alamance County-Wide Crimestoppers:
Burlington Police Gang Investigations: (336) 229-3582
Graffiti Hotline: (336) 229-3159
Gang Information Links:
Burlington Police Gang and violent crime Investigations
The department currently has two Investigators and a Supervisor who investigate Gangs and Violent Crimes. These detectives focus on identifying, investigating and arresting individuals who are a consistent, dangerous threat to our community.
Prevention: The gang investigator trains officers and community members on basic gang awareness and investigation techniques. Also, community members are taught techniques for identifying a juvenile involved in the gang life style and prevention programs.
Intervention: The Gang investigator will also identify gang members and at-risk youth and link them to community resources available for assistance.
Suppression: Gang related crimes and delinquent acts will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted in order to suppress those activities. The Burlington Police Department will show zero tolerance for gang-related crimes in the city.
GRAFFITIThe easiest and most common identifier of a gangs in a community is graffiti. Although the extent to which a gang uses graffiti may vary, nearly all gangs identify with some type of mark or symbol.