Plotting Trouble: Mapping Gang Activity Through New York State

Karli Goering
Dan Waddington

Despite a decreasing crime rate over the last decade, the United States saw a substantial increase in levels of gang activity nationwide. Contrary to popular belief, gangs are no longer contained within major metropolitan areas. In fact, the rate of suburban and rural gang activity is climbing at alarming levels. In recent years, gangs have transcended their geographic, racial, gender, and ethnic boundaries to develop a network that poses a threat to even the most efficient law enforcement agencies. As they migrate across states and localities, many gangs have retained bits and pieces of their traditional structure and belief system while adding more modern and area specific traits of their own creation. Using survey data collected from agencies across New York State, this project will first illustrate how gang activity differs not only by gang set but also by locality. In addition, we are creating an area specific mapping application that integrates research, analysis, and mapping of gang related crime. The finished tool will be adaptable for application at a state and local level across the country.

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Updated 05/20/2006