Police say gangs in St. Louis are a growing problem - KMOV.com

Police say gangs in St. Louis are a growing problem

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(KMOV.com) -- Alderman Sam Moore of the 4th ward said he is noticing more young people joining gangs in his area and when he sees bad behavior, Moore says he calls police for help.


“We also have new young guys gathering and can observe the old gangs,” Moore said. 

St. Louis Police Captain John Hayden says the city has a gang problem, especially in north St. Louis.

“In the Wells- Goodfellow neighborhood there is a pretty strong gang proliferation and certainly by the numbers last year they peeked early on as one of the violent neighborhoods in the city and ended that way," Hayden said.

Hayden is the commander the 5th district which includes some of the highest crime areas in the city, and he says gang members don’t wear colors anymore, but try to blend in with crowds.  

“You hear about unintended victims. Those are few and far between. Most of the people involved know their assailants. They owe them money and are in competition with each other. [They] maybe trying to rob each other," Hayden said.

In 2014, 159 people were murdered in St. Louis. According to police, much of that is connected to gang activity.

"It’s not like it’s the whole neighborhood. It may be 10 strong that are dedicated to the cause and criminal activity. They can cause a lot of trouble in the neighborhood," Hayden said.

Police say they are always asking for help from the community in reporting crime. If anyone witnesses a crime, authorities ask that person speak up. 

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