Prince George's Summer Crime Initiative Targets Guns

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The Prince George’s County chief of police announced his summer crime initiative, saying overall violent crime is up 2% and murders are down 29% year over year, but there’s been a big increase in carjackings.

There have been 219 carjackings so far this year compared to 134 this time last year – a 63% increase. Many of the offenders are teens and young adults, and more of those arrested are girls. Often times senior citizens are targeted and assaulted during the violent crimes.

“Most of those we’ve arrested have been handled before for violent crimes or handguns,” Chief Malik Aziz said.

Aziz’s summer crime initiative will focus on reducing crime involving guns and community engagement countywide. He pointed to the challenges of dealing with juveniles.

“Young people during the pandemic and otherwise it escalated, and some of them really have no fear of any real consequences,” he said.

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy is kicking off her Our Streets Our Future gun violence prevention campaign as well.

“By providing job training and job opportunities as well as counseling and educational opportunities, we think that we can make a difference in the lives of some of these young people,” she said.

Braveboy says there’s been an increase in gun crimes. In 2021, almost 1,400 guns were recovered by police, up from 1,293 in 2020. More than 260 of them were ghost guns.

Braveboy said young people need alternatives so they can choose a positive path.

“Certainly, we will hold them accountable, and they are held accountable in the court of law, but what’s more important is to ensure that they don’t make those mistakes,” she said.

Her event Tuesday at Eastover Shopping Center in Oxon Hill offers information on jobs, youth activities, social services and more.

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