VIDEO UPDATE: Gang Increase in the Heartland

By: Amaka Ubaka Email
By: Amaka Ubaka Email

Gang activity is on the rise in Nebraska and Iowa, according to brand new numbers Monday.

A report by the National Gang Intelligence Center says there's a rise in gangs all over the country. Since 2009, there's been a 40% increase in gang members from 1,000,000, but what's more surprising is where gangs are popping up.

Both Nebraska and Iowa have between four and six gang members per 1,000 people ranking the states on the 2nd highest tier out of four.

Kevin Hytrk works for the FBI as a supervisor on the violent crime squad. He tells Channel Six a trend that's becoming more common is the use of social media by gangs in Nebraska to recruit and communicate with other gang members.

“The big thing we see is cell phones and the push to talk methods on the phones. Initially we saw a lot on my space but that's going away, but we do see a lot of Facebook.”

While Iowa and Nebraska have three task forces dealing with gang violence, Hytrek says it'll take more than law enforcement to improve gang violence.

“Hopefully they come around and they realize its not a future.”

The report says that gangs are responsible for an average of 48% of violent crime in most cities and up to 90% in others.

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