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Gang-related crime on the rise in Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS » Las Vegas police have confirmed an increase in gang-related shootings from last year to this year.

KSNV-TV reports according to Lt. Sasha Larkin of the Gang Unit, there have been 67 gang shootings this year. She says gang-related incidents overall have decreased by nine percent.

There are an estimated 20,000 gang members throughout Southern Nevada.

Police say keeping track of individual gangs has been a struggle because the number of gangs has drastically increased since the mid-1980s.

Pastor Jon Ponder heads Hope For Prisoners, an organization that works to rehabilitate and deter convicted criminals from returning to gang life. He says gang members are willing to get out of gangs once they’ve been shown a way out.

Police say they are increasing outreach and building relationships through gang intervention.

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