Violence committed by young people is one of the most visible forms of violence.
The ratio of youth is the largest in offending crime of violence, the reason is the involvement of triad society’s activities. (車焯堅,2000) Local scholars have pointed out that, all youth gangs is related to triad society, the member of youth gangs identify with the subculture of triad society, it is easy to involve in crimes. (HKFYG, 2000)
Due to the tally of youth gang to the structure, as well as the style of triad society, youth gangs are easy to be the target of triad society. In the followings, different factors causing violence gangs and triad society will be discussed. Moreover, some solutions and handling strategy will be suggested as well.
To further study about violence gang and triad society, we have to know the developmental path, in other words, it is the process of being violence gangs.
An ordinary youth group may change to group with deviant youths, it is a start of the group changing. If some deviant youths such as someone always skipping lesson, smoking or disturbing others during lesson, added in the ordinary group, the group may be easier to become juvenile gang. It is high risk groups that they start to do something bad, for example robbing, shop-theft and so on. In the end, they may become criminal gangs that have linkage with triad society. They may offend more serious crime like drug trafficking, sex activity operating.
Factors causing youth group to become criminal gangs (triad society)
Super trait theory by Robert Agnew, identifies five life domains that contain possible crime-generating factors. They are personality, family, school, peers and work.
For personality, the neurological and endocrine changes during adolescence temporarily increase irritability/low self-control among adolescents who limit their offending to that period, while for those who continue to offend irritability/low self-control is a stable characteristic.
For family, most of them have poor parent child relationship, poor parenting so that they do not learn self- control. According to social bond theory by Travis Hirschi, all people have the latent tendency of offending crime, people do not offend crime because they afraid breaking social bonds with other. If someone’s social bond is broken or weakened, that one may be carried out deviant behaviour unlimitedly. (香港遊樂場協會,2008) The assumption of Hirschi is that, children who have the most attachment to parent, the least possibility to offend crime. (Hirschi,1969)
For school, youths have poor attitude and academic failure at school are the risk factor. According to “Social causes of violent crimes among young offenders in Hong Kong” (Agnes Ng, 1975), most of them show no interest on studying, having poor academic result at school and unsatisfied self image, low sense of belonging of school life and seldom make friends at school. The rate of drop out from school runs up to 90%.
For peers, they associate with delinquent peers to gain acceptance and emotional support to build their self image. Those delinquent peers may have the similar background as them.
For work, it means unemployment or poor paying job. Most of the youth gangs are drop out from school so early, maybe form 1 or form 2. They have nothing to do or just get a low-pay job, therefore if there is an unearned life, they may be eager on it.
These five domains interact and feed back on one another, and they could lead to delinquency and crime.