Effort Aimed At Combating Street Crews, Youth Gangs

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – An effort launched by the NYPD a year ago to crack down on youth killings has succeeded in saving lives, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced Monday.

As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, Operation Crew Cut was the police response to an increase in shootings among youth gangs.

Enforcement teams were set up in the precincts most plagued with robberies, gang assaults and shootings, Cornell reported.

Officers monitored Facebook and other social media sites to learn about potential incidents.

The operation has resulted in 25 citywide investigations and more than 400 indictments of gang members, Cornell reported.

“But most important, it’s reduced the number of young people being killed by more than a half. Year-to-date, citywide 43 homicide victims have been between the ages of 13 to 21, compared to 87 in that category last year,” said Commissioner Kelly.

Kelly said that age group is most at risk of retaliatory street violence.

“Strategic enforcement and proactive policing combined with strong prosecutorial partnerships, including attention to the new battleground of social media, has resulted in lives being saved in New York City, mostly young minority men.” Kelly said. “Additionally, shootings and homicides citywide, regardless of victim age, are down 21 percent on top of 2012’s record lows.”

The indictments of 20 suspects from Brownsville were unsealed Monday.  As 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported, seven of the suspects are young women.  Commissioner Kelly said one of the suspects, a 14-year-old girl, was found to have a loaded .22 caliber revolver in her purse.

The NYPD’s Gang Unit doubled in size under Operation Crew Cut.

In addition to the street crews, the police effort was aimed at cracking down on loosely affiliated teen gangs that hang out around public housing.

The NYPD noted that a disproportionate number of violent crimes happen in public housing.

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