GREENSBORO, N.C. — Gangs have become a growing problem across North Carolina.
According to the Governor’s Crime Commission, there are more than 10,600 gang members in North Carolina, a slight increase from previous years.
Guilford County is ranked second in the state for its number of gangs with 90. Forsyth County is ranked fourth with 57.
High Point Police Officer David Inthisane has seen gang members as young as 9-years-old.
“The dangerous part of them [gang members] being younger, is they are immature. They are willing to do anything to prove themselves, so it’s getting more dangerous,” explains Officer Inthisane explained.
Gang initiation often depends on the type of gang or the gang’s “mood.” Requirements can be anything from robberies, shootings, or even some men and women can be “sexted” in.
“Performing sexual acts with other gang members to be initiated into the gang,” explained Mark Bridgeman, with the N.C. Gang Investigators Association.
High Point officers typically see what they call “neighborhood gangs,” which are gangs trying to associate with national gangs.
“Whether it’s the Bloods or the Crips or Folk Nation or People Nation they will try to align themselves somehow with the national gang,” explained Inthisane.
According to the Governor’s Crime Commission there are 982 gangs in North Carolina, up from 963 from the previous year.