SANDAG said San Diego's law-enforcement officials attribute 26 percent of violent crime in their jurisdictions to gangs.
“Gangs are diversifying into other areas and becoming more involved in prostitution, alien smuggling, and human trafficking," said Dr. Cynthia Burke, SANDAG Director of Criminal Justice Research.
"They are collaborating with each other to build more sophisticated criminal enterprises, and they are using new and advanced technology to facilitate criminal activity to a greater degree than ever before.”
The report – Gang Involvement Among San Diego County Arrestees in 2012 – found that nine of 11 jurisdictions believe that gangs pose a more significant risk than they did five years ago.
Researchers found that the average age of joining a gang is 13.5, and the primary reason for joining a gang is association with friends who are in one. Gang involvement also tends to run in families.
The San Diego Association of Governments is the region’s primary public planning, transportation, and research agency. It is a joint effort by the region’s 18 cities and the county government.