Gangs in the Uk

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  • Topic: Crime, Gang, Mara Salvatrucha
  • Pages : 7 (2147 words )
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  • Published : April 30, 2013
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This assignment is about gangs which are now a growing problem in the UK as it is reflected in media coverage and governmental responses to gangs, crime and violence.

Gangs as defined by Eurogang network is said to be any durable street oriented youth group whose involvement are in illegal activity as part of their group identity.

The other definition used in the article” Dying to belong” was that a gang can be defined as a relatively durable, predominantly street-based group of young people who see themselves (and are seen by others) as a discernible group engaged in a range of criminal activity and violence and identify with or lay claim over territory and have some form of identifying structural feature and are in conflict with other similar gangs.

According to the article( Dying to belong 2009), the disadvantaged communities are the ones with the problem which forces the young people to end up on the streets in gangs. Most of the gang members seem to come from the back ground of poor families. The article suggest that there are key pathways to poverty which causes these young people to end up joining gangs , these pathways can come in the form of family breakdown, for example if parents are divorced and the single parent try to bring up the children on her own, in most cases problems start to develop , when these children feel the need for a male role model , then they decide to be engaged with older youth in the streets. Economic dependency and unemployment is the other factor which also makes the young people to join gangs, education failure also affects them so much that they give up on education and drop out of school and some of them get excluded from school and go to the streets and join the gangs(Aldridge and Medina 2007). Addiction and personal gratitude are some of the factors or pathways found in the most deprived communities that produce these Britain’s gangs.

UK and USA researches suggest that there is a strong connection between gangs and violence (communities that care; 2005, Bennett and Halloway, 2004). Trasher 1927 and Puffer 1912 are of the idea that a gang is any play group existing along side the family and the neighbourhood (Muncie 2011). Trasher has an idea that gangs are formed when youth in the same area come together as a playgroup first but eventually come into conflict with their community and a culture of delinquency thrives in them. Trasher 1927 suggests that gangs are a solace and brings a sense of belonging and support to disorganised communities. Gang members ranges from the ages 10year olds up to the age of 40 but the most common age for joining the gangs is 13-16 years and as the members gets mature the membership tails off (Aldridge and Medina 2007) Gangs can be joined for different reasons like protection yet intra gang conflict is endemic. In most cases the gang members themselves tend to lack stability of membership. Gangs have long been associated with crime but they rarely commit the crime collectively as a gang, but its usually individual members who commits the crime. Campbell and Muncer 1989 argue that contrary to what the media says none of the USA gang culture is reflected on the British one.

The media and government attributed the killings in 2007 were linked to the rise of armed organised gangs in the UK and an emerging culture of violence amongst young people, based on this vein it has been suggested that there is a gang epidemic in the UK. (Pitts, J.2007)

Downes (1996) suggested that the idea of gangs existing in Britain around 1960s was symptomatic of middle class attempts to impute a structure and organisation to working class groups which they did not posses. Downes suggest that America owns the gangs, while Britain is the home of youth subcultures.( Muncie 2011)

Bill Sanders moved to London to test this suggestion of gangs, he concluded that the US style street gangs were not in London and that they never have been’ (Sanders, 2005) as...
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