New Counting Method Shows 13,700 Gang Members In North Carolina

North Carolina is getting a fuller picture of gang activity by relying more on hard data from police and prison officials.

The Governor's Crime Commission gave its annual gang report to a legislative panel on Thursday. It shows there are nearly 13,700 confirmed gang members and their associates, compared to 10,050 in last year's report.

Commission analyst Dick Hayes said this year's numbers are based for the first time on a gang intelligence database used by law enforcement agencies. Gang members in prison also are being counted.

The commission's gang counts used to rely on inexact police surveys.

The report says there are 898 gangs in the state. The database says the overwhelming majority of gang members or associates are male and are identified as black or Hispanic.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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