NEW YORK, May 15 (UPI) -- While crime rates in New York City continue to go down, the police department says there's one group bucking the trend -- girls aged 7 to 15.
The Daily News reports that 1,902 girls were arrested in the city in 2004, up 252 from 2002.
Experts differ on the cause of the rising crime rate.
Heather Johnson-Nicholson of the organization Girls Inc. suggested that girls who live in dangerous neighborhoods start carrying weapons and may become violent themselves.
Bob DeSena, head of an anti-gang group, the Council for Unity, told the newspaper that gangs have always used girls to carry weapons and perform other tasks. He said that now the girls tend to see themselves as equals and to be more violent.
In recent years, the city has had a number of high-profile crimes involving girls. Tatianna McDonald, 14, was charged with the murder of a young actress killed in a robbery. And the Emily Wiest, 17, the daughter of actress Dianne Wiest, and two female friends were charged last month with beating up a male classmate and stealing his iPod.