To clarify the definitional issues surrounding youth gang crime, respondents were asked to indicate which of the following gang crime definitions their agencies used most frequently: member-baseda crime in which a gang member or members are either the perpetrators or the victims, regardless of the motive; motive-baseda crime committed by a gang member or members in which the underlying reason is to further the interests and activities of the gang; or some other definition as specified. As shown in table 25, a majority (58 percent) of respondents said they used the member-based definition, nearly 32 percent used the motive-based definition, and almost 11 percent said they used some other definition.
Table 26 shows that a majority of jurisdictions in all area types used a member-based definition. A motive-based definition was more common in small cities (37 percent) and rural counties (36 percent) than in large cities (30 percent) and suburban counties (30 percent). Suburban counties and large cities were more likely than other area types to use other definitions (12 percent and 11 percent, respectively).
The use of member-based or motive-based definitions varied by region (see table 27). Law enforcement agencies in the Midwest were most likely to use a member-based definition. Agencies in the Northeast were least likely to use a member-based definition (51 percent) and most likely to use some other definition (16 percent).