Let's talk about one of the not-so-savory things about New Jersey: Crime. In this case, gang activity.

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There's probably more gang groups that you would guess in New Jersey, and they all vary in size and threat level depending of what region of New Jersey you're in - North, Central and South Jersey.

According to the New Jersey State Police Statewide Gang Assessment:

"Gangs in New Jersey vary in their degree of organization and structure. Although it has not completely disappeared, it appears to be increasingly less common for gangs to be highly- structured criminal groups. Rather, loose affiliations dominate, and gang members are often involved in their own criminal activity as opposed to engaging in criminal activity in the name of the gang. There is a recent movement toward gang hybridization, and neighborhood-based gangs continue to become more common."


So what is the most dangerous gang in South Jersey?

Photo by Brian Lundquist on Unsplash
Photo by Brian Lundquist on Unsplash

First, let's define South Jersey. For the purpose of this assessment, South Jersey is comprised of these counties:

  • Salem County
  • Cape May County
  • Cumberland County
  • Atlantic County
  • Gloucester County
  • Camden County

According to the Statewide Gang Assessment, the most-threatening gang in South Jersey is Only the Family (OTF). And if you're familiar with South Jersey at all, you won't be surprised in the least to learn where this gang originated: Camden.

Google Maps
Google Maps

What is "Only the Family"?

The OTF gang is fairly new. They originated in Camden around 2012, but they didn't just spring up out of nowhere. They branched out from other, more well-known gangs in New Jersey, like The Bloods. The assessment describes them as "extremely violent."

Credit: New Jersey State Police Statewide Gang Assessment
Credit: New Jersey State Police Statewide Gang Assessment

In 2017, there was only an estimated 30 members of OTF, comprised mostly of male and female juveniles that have developed personal relationships. They have violent rivalries with the Crips and FTF. They've been liked to crime investigations involving drug distribution, weapons, assault and murder.

Let's be clear: ALL gangs are dangerous. There's nothing pretty about gang life, so the more you know what to be wary of when you come across suspicious folks, the better. You can check out the National Gang Center for resources and information.

Places in NJ where gun owners have sued to carry a legal gun

New Jersey passed its own law in December, trying to ban legal guns from “sensitive places.” 

A federal judge found many of those spots to be legally protected on grounds of armed self-defense, noting in her opinion, “Crowded locations are not sensitive places."

As of June, a federal appeals court granted the state attorney general's request to keep part of the law that bars people from carrying handguns in “sensitive places” in effect.

The decision means handguns cannot be carried in places such as zoos, public parks, public libraries and museums, bars, and health care facilities.

The law bars handguns from being carried in those places as well as schools and child care facilities. The lower court's May injunction did not specify those locations, and the appeals court also didn't remove the prohibition in those places.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt & The Associated Press

Here are New Jersey's Most Wanted Criminals

Here are New Jersey's Most Wanted Criminals

Gallery Credit: Vin Ebenau

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