v220.127.116.11+ of AW no longer creates crews from scratch. It uses what the game has in the world. This is experimental to address the eventual statue-form problem that will otherwise occur. Turn up traffic density to max and see if there are more.
Set MaxChanceStreetThugCreated=1, reduce MinStreetThugSpawnDistance to 10 and MaxStreetThugSpawnDistance to 100, set MaxStreetThugPerTick to equal MaxStreetThugCanExist and see if more street thugs spawn. All of this depends on your machine. If you have things low, with low density and low resources, and generally low entity counts in the world because the game is trying to keep your performance up, you will not be able to force a different outcome without having the game being able to create more entities for use.
I find the game is usually only consistently alt-tab friendly if I first bring up the map with esc. When doing that I can tab with no problems, which I do constantly because of development. However if I tab out without hitting esc first to bring up the map 9 out of 10 times I can't tab back in, and this has always been the case (for me anyway) even with just the base game and no mods running of any kind.