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Greensboro police work to curb gang violence in city

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Gangs have accounted for nearly a quarter of the homicides in Greensboro this year, according to police.

Commander for the Criminal Investigations Division Capt. Nathaniel Davis shared these numbers.

In 2018, police investigated 19 homicides and classified at least five of those homicides as gang related.

Compared to 2017, when police investigated 42 homicides and connected 11 of those homicides to gang activity.

Leaving police searching for a solution to the violence.

"How can we change the culture, how can we find out what's happening in our communities that's making gang involvement inviting and what can we do to change that?" said Davis.

There are roughly 800 validated gang members and close to 40 sets of groups that operate as a gang in the city, according to police.

"The activity has definitely increased, the crime has increased, but if you look at some of our recent numbers the stats as it related to how many validated gang members we have has gone up and down," said Davis.

The North Carolina Criminal Gang Suppression Act says to qualify as a criminal gang it must be an ongoing organization of three or more persons, engage in criminal or delinquent acts and share distinguishing characteristics.

Davis says he believes that equipping communities with the right resources and restoring confidence and trust can break the gang mentality.

"When we begin to see ourselves together and not divided then I think we can advance forward," said Davis.