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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 26, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta Wednesday, February 26, 1975 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 39 Street gangs return New York variety more violent, vicious than ever before. Child wounded Cambodian soldier rushes a wounded when Communist rockets rained into Phnom Penh, to a hospital in the Cambodian capital. The insurgent forces tightened the noose around the capital by severing a key highway and routing government forces from a strategic island. By DAVID NICHOLSON NEW YORK (Reuter) Street gangs have returned to New York City and author- ities say they are more vio- lent, more vicious and better armed than at any time in the city's history. Groups of youths numbering into the hundreds and using such names as the Savage Skulls, Black Spades and No- mads have virtually taken over areas of the city. Where the street gangs of 20 years ago were armed with little more than knives or hand-made zip-guns, police say today's gangs have ac- cess to large quantities of automatic rifles, pistols, gre- nades and even bazookas and mortars. Police are producing stag- gering statistics in the growth of gang-related crime. Between 1972 and 1973, po- lice figures show increases of 256 per cent in attempted murder, 272 per cent in rob- bery and 429 per cent in rape. Gang-related figures for such crimes as serious assault, possession of dangerous weap- ons and kidnapping also show jumps of well over 100 per cent. Visitors to New York are 'unlikely to see these "armies of the as one recent government study called them. The gangs generally are concentrated in the poorest sections of Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and the northern portions of from the neon-flooded streets of the tourists' New York. Although they admit their knowledge of gangs is limited and their statistics on mem- bership are far from certain, police estimate there are about gang members in the city. Other sources, such as social workers and proba- tion officers, suggest the ac- tual number may be double that. Most of the gang members are either black or Puerto Ri- can but there are also Asian gangs in the lower east side of Manhattan and white gangs in Brooklyn and Queens. Gang members range up to 30 years in age and some are recruited by the time they are 6. At that age, they serve mainly as lookouts for the older members but one social worker added: "By the time they are 7, they are pretty much into the rest of it." "The rest of it" may in- clude armed robbery, traf- ficking in narcotics, collecting money from shopkeepers and landlords and fighting with rival gangs. One fear current at the time of active American in-' volvement in Vietnam ap- pears to have at least par- tially come soldiers returning home would use their training in warfare for criminal purposes. One social worker testified in a recent court hearing: "The Vietnam veterans, dis- illusioned for one reason or another, are the ones who coach the gang members in the arts of things such as judo, karate, kung fu, and also how to oper- ate guns which can vary from .38-calibre police guns to magnums. Another major difference from earlier gangs is that some of the recent organ- izations claim to be politically motivated, offering protection from the white "estab- lishment." Some say they are working for the welfare of their community, operating school lunch programs and chasing away heroin pushers. Police generally scoff at such claims, although some youth workers say several gangs are fighting drug push- ers and trying to improve the urban blight that surrounds them through such things as street and park cleanups. A recent study of gang ac- tivities by a subcommittee of the New York state legisla- ture placed a large measure of blame on movies, television and newspapers for helping the resurgence. The study quoted one social worker as telling the com- mittee: "These kids talk about shooting someone in the same way they describe someone being shot in a movie. "To them, everything is one big movie." The best to you from Palm. PRLM PALM DAIRIES LIMITED Cream Corn York Fancy, 14 fl. oz. tin'.................... Choice Peas Top Valu, 14II. oz. tin...................... 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