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Gangsters Use MySpace to Recruit Members

According to police the popular social networking site MySpace.com is being used to recruit gangsters. Police investigator of Edinburgh, Robert Alvarez is concerned to find that local gangs like the Poboys might be using MySpace as a tool to recruit individuals into their group.

In a statement by Alvarez that The Monitor published on February 21, 2007, we come to know how gangs grow through communication over the Internet. Kids meet each other on the Net - kids from places like Donna, McAllen, Edinburgh, and other. These kids, about to cross the threshold of teenage, are will soon face prison. Alvarez who specializes in studying gang activity says the Internet enhances their ability to communicate.

Drawing a comparison between places that are centers of gang activity like the county jails and prison, Alvarez says that the physical proximity in closed quarters help in easy recruitment.

He says MySpace has kicked off as a flourishing thug community. Alvarez has seen unknown gangs surfacing faster than before. Criminals are posting pictures and messages to advertise their groups.

But the more disturbing part is that users on MySpace are visiting pages containing profiles of gang members, by choice, he said. Since they want to belong to a community, the site makes it easy for them to find what they are searching for.

Alvarez said the police are using the gang's tool as an investigative device. They have successfully identified criminals using MySpace and solved many cases.

In February 2007, Alvarez browsed through MySpace pages to spot profiles of workers belonging to local gangs like the Valluco Soldiers and Texas Chicano Brotherhood. With the help of the site he had been able to track their activities that had helped to solve several investigations.

Alvarez, however, did not disclose the process he applied to use the site for his job so that it doesn't topple off the gangsters whose profiles he is still monitoring. But he is sure that the easy accessibility amongst like-minded people has stimulated the expansion of gangs such as the Poboys.

Alvarez is worried that there's no way to prevent recruitment in this manner.

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