The County and City of Los Angeles are the “gang capital” of the nation. There are more than 450 active gangs in the City of Los Angeles. Many of these gangs have been in existence for over 50 years. These gangs have a combined membership of over 45,000 individuals.
Gang membership in Los Angeles has continued to increase over the past five years even though there have been periodic crime decreases. One of the major factors contributing to increased gangs, gang membership and violence has been the lucrative narcotics trade, with rival gangs vying for the greatest market share.
Gangs are not a new phenomenon. During the last three years, there were over 16,398 verified violent gang crimes in the City of Los Angeles. These include 491 homicides, nearly 7,047 felony assaults, approximately 5,518 robberies and just under 98 rapes.