LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The city of Little Rock is seeing an increase in women committing and being victims in violent crimes.
Lt. McClanahan, Public Information Officer with the Little Rock Police Department said the numbers in women are increasing and they’re trying to get a grip on it.
“It is something we are concerned about, just the other day we had a total of four people shot and out of the four people shot, two of them were females,” he said.
There have been two women charged with capital murder so far this year and eight of the 43 homicide victims so far this year have been females. Ingrid Wilkins works as a mentor with a group called GEMS, a program the department is trying to use to help put a stop to the rising numbers.
“GEMS is a program through the Little Rock Police Department, it deals with the areas of Henderson, Cloverdale, and McClelland. It deals with at risk girls that are maybe more prone to commit crimes,” she said.
She said the first problem for young women in these areas is their environment.
“A lot of times, what you see is what you do. If you see violence, you think that's the norm, and it becomes your norm to hear a gunshot at night,” she said.
The second problem she believes is resources.
“They have not been given the tools to learn how to process things differently,” Wilkins said.
The third is action from community members.
“We have programs that are out there to help young women, make better choices, and be better citizens to society but no one willing to be the mentor,” according to Wilkins.
She said the mindset of these young women can’t change without mentors to show them the way.
“I truly believe if they knew better they would do better. I think they feel like there is no other way, that's all that they know so that's all that they do,” she said.
The GEMS said they are in desperate need of more mentors. The group meets every Saturday at Cloverdale Middle School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The group sees anywhere from 15 to 30 plus girls every Saturday. If you’d like to apply to be a mentor you can contact Officer Takeisha Fifer at 501-414-7771 or the Little Rock Police Department.
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