Violent gang crime down 12% in city

first_img“There is a fear in their mind, a knowledge that someone is looking over their shoulder,” said Valley Bureau Cmdr. Valentino Paniccia. Since January, the FBI has assigned 50 agents to Southern California to tackle gang crime in some of the most violent areas, including South Los Angeles. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has deployed 80 agents throughout the Southland to focus on gang crime by illegal immigrants. And the City Attorney’s Office began work this week to prosecute gang members. Since January, City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo also has unveiled three new gang injunctions in northeast and central Los Angeles. “This effort is larger than anything that I have ever seen before,” said George Cardona, acting U.S. attorney for the Central District. But in some neighborhoods not policed by the 50-officer task force, crime remains higher than last year and residents complain of a spillover effect. Immigration officials have deployed dozens of agents across Southern California to combat gang violence, including a 10-member squad in the San Fernando Valley, officials said Wednesday. And local officials cited the stepped-up coordination by federal and state law enforcement agencies as one reason behind a 12 percent drop in violent gang crime citywide in the past three months, though the Valley has shown no improvement after a 40 percent surge last year. “It’s clear our suppression strategy is effective and on target,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a meeting to discuss his two-month-old plan to combat gangs. “We all recognize we still have a lot of work to do.” So far, immigration officials say they have made only a handful of arrests. But the Los Angeles Police Department said other efforts – including establishing a 50-officer task force in the Valley and placing probation officers inside police gang units – have put criminals on notice. “They are working so hard in other parts of the Valley, my feeling is that we are forgotten,” said Mary Ellen Crosby, a member of the Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council. Crosby said gang members hang out in front of her home and tag a nearby park. “It never used to be this bad,” she said. [email protected] (818) 713-3741160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more