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Researchers Present Findings on Gangs in Albemarle Area - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Researchers Present Findings on Gangs in Albemarle Area

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Results of a gang assessment study in Albemarle County were presented to the public Thursday night, with the aim of preventing gang violence.

The research shows gang members have become quieter and more sophisticated in eluding police. They are no longer “flagging and tagging” themselves and demonstrating signs.

Right now there are 183 validated gang members in Albemarle County and Charlottesville, but police believe the actual number is much higher.

The national gang Bloods is the most common in both the city and county, but the research found that gangs have started moving from urban to more rural areas.

One of the leaders of the research says it's important for people to be aware of what is going on.

"There are gangs that are here and they are growing in numbers and that's really important for us to know and acknowledge so that we don't have any problems that get away from us,” said Dr. Maryfrances Porter, president and founder of Partnerships for Strategic Impact.

The researchers behind the assessment, known as Gang Reduction through Active Community Engagement (GRACE) will take this information and figure out what actions need to be taken.

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