NEW LAW WILL GIVE LAW ENFORCEMENT MORE TOOLS TO PROSECUTE GANG ACTIVITY
Governor Mark Sanford today signed S.141, a new law aimed at cracking down on criminal gangs in South Carolina by giving law enforcement more tools to prosecute gang activity.
Known as the Criminal Gang Prevention Act, the new law will better define a criminal gang, and give the State Grand Jury additional powers in prosecuting gang activity. As well, the new law will establish a SLED database for tracking gang activity in the state.
"In talking to a number of friends in law enforcement around the state, they've said that we need more tools at our disposal if we're going to effectively combat the problem of criminal gangs in our state," Gov. Sanford said. "I think this new law will be an important step toward that end, and I'd thank the bill's sponsors for getting this legislation to my desk. Bills like this are incredibly important, because at the end of the day how safe we are in our homes and neighborhoods is a quality of life issue."
According to SLED, gang-related crimes are escalating. Around 700 gang-related crimes were committed last year. Before 1990, six percent of law enforcement agencies in South Carolina had reported gang-related activity. By 2001, 52% of the state's law enforcement had reported gang activity within their jurisdictions.