Increasing violence among teenagers and
other youths appears to have contributed to
a nationwide crime spike.
Gangs and gun violence are partly to blame
for the rise in crime that is on pace to
increase for the second straight year, says
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
• That a growing number of offenders appear
to be younger, and their crimes more
violent, and that laws in some states
provide few, if any, tough penalties on
• Many youths have little parental oversight
and are too easily influenced by gang
membership and glamorized violence in
• Loosely organized gangs present the
biggest concern for law enforcement
officials because they are hard to
investigate and their members often
ommit random acts of crime out of self-
• Offenses committed by people using
firearms pose a major threat not only to
communities, but also to police. So-called
"straw purchases," where gun owners buy
their firearms through a go-between is an
rea of concern.
The Justice Department have distributed
$18 million in grants nationwide the pass 3
years to prevent and reduce illegal gun sales
and other firearms crimes.
The department also is working on a new
crime bill to help federal authorities
assist local and state police in cases
involving juvenile crime.