(August 16, 2002) -- LBPD has released statistics indicating that since January 1, 2002 gang violence has sent LB murders and shootings soaring.
LBPD data show LB murders in the first 7 1/2 months of 2002 have already exceeded the total number of LB murders for all of 2001. Between January 1 and August 16, 2002, LB had 47 reported murders. [LBReport.com note: that's more than one a week]. In contrast, for all of 2001, there were 49 murders.
LBPD says 21 of the 47 LB murders thus far in 2002 "are believed to be gang related."
And LBPD says the city had had more than 70 gang shootings this year to date.
The Police Dept. release describes the life threatening circumstances endured by residents, and encountered by police officers, in gang impacted sections of California's fifth largest city:
"On August 4, 2002, a gang confrontation resulted in five shooting victims. Two of the victims were injured by unintended gunfire; a 10-year old boy was shot in the abdomen and a 40-year old man was shot in the shoulder. Gang enforcement officers found the suspects' vehicle and arrested two gang members from a residence where the car was located. A large collection of evidence was recovered, including several assault rifles, handguns, ammunition, a bulletproof vest, a police radio scanner and illegal drug.s Investigators believe these recovered weapons have possibly been used in a number of gang crimes."
LBPD notes its gang enforcement efforts "are often hampered by a lack of witness cooperation, or by victims who take matters into their own hands, which contributes to the cycle of violence." It adds, "This problem is not just a police problem, but is a community and a family problem as well. Parents, grandparents, siblings and concerned friends of gang memebrs are asked to provide any relevant information before the ones they care about are killed or seriously injured by continuing gang violence."
LBPD says that in an effort to ensure anonymity and the safety of those who provide information, LBPD's Gang Enforcement Section has established a "Gang Tip Hotline" phone number where information can be relayed anonymously to detectives.
The "Gang Tip" phone number is: (866) GANG-TIP, (866) 426-4847.