If you are a resident of Texas, you are probably well-aware of the fact that gangs are prevalent in the state. In light of that, we turned to the 2015 National Gang Report (NGR), which provides an overview of current gang-related trends throughout the United States. We found the information in this report very interesting, especially as it pertains to the use of social media to facilitate gang-related activities. According to the report’s Executive Summary, “gangs of all types remain steadfast in their objectives to generate revenue and gain control of the territories they inhabit; and in their dedication to these objectives, gangs continue to grow in numbers and expand their criminal activities.” The NGR revealed that the most “prevalent” crimes committed by street gangs included:
“Street gangs exhibit few indicators of decreasing membership or criminal activity,” according to the NGR. Not surprisingly, more than 68 percent of survey respondents from local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement agencies said that prison gang membership had increased within the past two years. What was found to be the greatest threat of prison gangs? Their ability to corrupt the prison staff so they could help them smuggle drugs, cellphones, and weapons. Today’s sophisticated gangs are using prison staff, and even social media to facilitate their criminal activities. Now, let’s take a look at how gangs are using social media to further their interests and help them achieve their goals.
Social Media’s Essential Role
According to the NGR, “Social media and other forms of technology play an essential role in the illicit activities of gang members.” Gangs are now using social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter to:
- Recruit prospects
- Target rivals
- Communicate with each other
- Obstruct law enforcement efforts
Gangs aren’t the only ones using social media; law enforcement is now using social media technology to help them in their criminal investigations and anti-gang efforts. The NGR found that more than 54 percent of law enforcement agencies reported using social media to investigate gang-related activities. Surely, those numbers are only going to rise.
Are you facing charges for a gang-related crime in Plano or Dallas? If so, don’t hesitate to contact our firm at once to schedule a criminal defense case evaluation.