Shannon releases anti-gang platform

Attorney-general candidate Steve Shannon today announced his comprehensive plan to reduce gang crime and recruitment in Virginia.
“Gang violence and recruitment are a top threat to public safety here in Virginia,” said Shannon. “As attorney general I will work with schools, community groups and parents to stop gang activity before it starts. I will also work to give prosecutors and law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on gang members who threaten our communities.” 

The plan focuses on educating Virginia students about the dangers of getting involved with gangs, tougher penalties for gang crimes in Virginia, protecting witnesses who testify against gang members and working with other states and federal law enforcement to share best practices and enforcement capacity.

On a conference call with Virginia reporters Shannon discussed the details of his plan to combat gang crime and recruitment and his experience dealing with gang activity as a former criminal prosecutor in Fairfax County.

He also discussed the rising trend of gang activity in Virginia despite the outstanding efforts of law enforcement in the Commonwealth.

According to the 2009 National Gang Threat Assessment, 58 percent of state and local law enforcement agencies reported that criminal gangs were active in their jurisdictions in 2008, compared with just 45 percent in 2004.

Shannon also pointed out that the biggest increases in gang activity nationwide are happening in smaller cities and rural counties. On Saturday he will visit Winchester, Leesburg and Harrisonburg to talk to Virginians about his plan to reduce gang activity in their communities and bring these dangerous criminals to justice as Attorney General.

To download a full copy of Shannon’s “Plan to Crack Down on Gangs,” please click here: http://www.shannon2009.com/files/gangs.pdf.



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