The requirements were increased to adjust to the criminals:cops ratio back when the server had 250+ players on peak times, and now when the server barely gets 180 players peak they did not lower the requirements.
I feel like the GMs right now are using their position as a tool to choke the official gangs in hope of somehow turning them into the cop side. This will never happen, and the GMs should not mess with such topics. Such a switch from a player would take something like the development team actually adding something interesting to the cop side gameplay on the server. If you end up choking a gang until it gives up, the players in this gang will either simply move onto the next gang or leave the server, resulting in the opposite of the intended result.
There's also another topic that I hoped not to touch into in fear of backlash, but I felt like it must be discussed. That is; CLO. Yes, CLO heavily influences the gang choice for a major segment of the players. I'm not gonna name gangs, but everyone knows that there are 3 gangs who offer the highest chance of joining CLO if you join them and get comfy with their CLO members. I feel like this somehow needs to be broken down because those gangs are getting an unfair advantage of boosted activity over other gangs because of their status as CLO feeders.
And lastly, I want to discuss the GM team and their requirements. Right now, it feels the current system is designed by bots who just count media archive posts and player numbers. Back in the old system, the GMs actually played the game and observed how active the gang was ingame. For example, UE had a great participation in criminal sides activities in the month of May. We even had a peak of 19 concurrent players at one point, but we still fell short because of the damn numbers. The old GM teams used to evaluate the gang's presence ingame and only demote the very poor/dead gangs at level 5 who did not bother showing up in activities at all. This one though, only cares about numbers.