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Gang Information


GRIT no gangs.jpg 
Frequently Asked Questions & Contact Information
Are you concerned about gangs in the community?
Do you want to learn more about gangs?
Do you want to learn how you can help prevent gang activity?
Are you curious about what others in your community are doing to help prevent gang activity?
Below are helpful gang prevention tips and information on how the Gang Response Intervention Team is working to identify and coordinate gang prevention resources already at work in the community!
What constitutes a criminal street gang?
  • Has three or more members
  • Commits crimes as a primary activity
  • Is identified by name, sign or symbol
Signs of gang participation and activity: 
  • Common dress (hats, bandannas, outerwear) or colors of clothing, or common tattoos within a group.
  • Graffiti - look for crowns, stars, pitchforks, series of numbers or letters or a combination of numbers and letters, nicknames (it should be noted that gang graffiti differs from tagger graffiti).
  • Use of hand signs
  • Tattoos - see graffiti above for examples.
  • Graffiti-type artwork in school notebooks or on bedroom walls or clothing (see above)
  • Referring to peer group as family.
  • Hanging out with new friends, or friends who a youth will not bring home, or with friends who will only identify themselves by an unusual nickname.
  • Involvement with known or suspected gang members.
  • Youth comes home with unexplained bruises.
What You Can Do:
Community Members
  • Become involved in community organizations and coalitions that promote positive activities for youth
  • Be positive role models
  • Become educated about gangs, and crime in general, in the community
  • Seek and maintain a close relationship with the police officers who patrol your neighborhood
  • Become involved in your local Neighborhood Watch, or consider starting one if none exists
  • Report graffiti to the police department, and then work together to remove it after it has been documented by police officers
  • Educate yourself on the signs of gang activity
  • Maintain an open line of communication with your children
  • Be engaged in the lives of your children
  • Know who your children's friends are
  • Insist on knowing where your children are going and what they are doing
  • Pay attention to behavioral changes such as the way they dress, school attendance and performance, and the company they keep 
  • Pay attention to music/Web sites/wall posters
  • Trust your instincts; if you feel that your child is starting to become involved with gangs, follow-up on it and be curious
Business Owners/Retailers 
  • Remove graffiti as soon as possible after you have reported it to the local police, and they indicate that you can remove it
  • Report any gang activity to your local police department
  • Enforce “No Trespass/Barment” notices
  • Consider the use of a surveillance system
  • Employ adequate lighting both inside and outside
  • As mush as possible, make sure that your business and areas of your business complex are visible to the passing public
  • Work together with other nearby businesses to visibly display a sense of ownership and concern over what takes place in the immediate area
  • Start and enforce a “no gang colors” policy in your business
  • Contact your local police department's Crime Prevention Unit for information on its Business Watch Program. Prince William County Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit has a Certified Crime Prevention Business Program.
Web sites that provide more information about gangs:    
Contact Information
To report a violent crime, or a major crime in progress, call 911 IMMEDIATELY!
To report graffiti, call your local police department at its non-emergency number:
Prince William County Police ​703-792-6500
​City of Manassas Police ​703-257-8000
​City of Manassas Park Police ​703-361-1136
​Town of Dumfries ​703-792-6500
​Town of Haymarket ​703-792-6500
​Town of Quantico ​703-792-6500
​Town of Occoquan ​703-792-6500
You may also obtain materials for removing graffiti by calling Keep Prince William Beautiful at 703-792-6272.     


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