The bottom line is that from one point of view, the police dominate a region because they are the most powerful gang. The mistake criminal gangs make is that they assume that just because the police abide by rules, they *have* to.
The truth is that, around the civilized world, honest police only use the force they need to use. But if they need to use more, they use more.
I remember how, in one unnamed city, the city government was replaced with an ultra-liberal one that insisted the police had to be nicer to ultra-violent and vicious criminals than even to ordinary citizens. So the police made a deal with a motorcycle gang. They would generally leave the gang alone, since they were not much trouble, but if a cop needed “back up”, he would call a biker.
Once the biker arrived, the officer would take a powder for a few minutes, so he could honestly say that he didn’t see any altercation. Ironically, most of the time, the bikers just advised the bad guy that they had one, and only one, chance to leave town for good. That usually worked.
“advised the bad guy that they had one, and only one, chance to leave town for good”
back in the 1940s that’s how the LAPD dealt with more than a few mobsters who were not welcome within city limits