What is a youth gang? Do they exist in the United Kinkdom?
Youth gang a group of persons usually youths who share a common identity and who generally engage in criminal behaviour. In contrast to the criminal behaviour of other youths the activities of gangs are characterized by some level of organisation and continuity over time. There isn't consensus on the exact definition of a gang however and scholars have debated whether the definition should expressly include involvement in crime. Some gangs but not all have strong leadership formalized rules and extensive use of common identifying symbols and many gangs associate themselves with a particular geographic area or type of crime and some use graffiti as a form nonverbal communication.The Home Office estimates that at least 6% of youths aged ten to nineteen are involved in delinquent gangs where the numbers are even for both males and females.
This shows that gang culture is prevalent in the UK and affecting many youths. Youths join the gangs for many different reasons but there is a pattern for the background of the youths who join the gangs. They tend to have been expelled from school, have strong commitments to other delinquent offenders, heavy dependence or abuse of alcohol or have run away from home.And many youth who joins gang have also been identified as youth who are using drugs and already involved in serious and violent crime, in youth gang who display higher levels of previous delinquency are more likely to remain in the gang group.
The reasons for joining a youth gang are various because some seek excitement and others are looking for prestige protection a chance to make money or a sense of belonging.Every day there are new stories of youth gang related crime from the proliferation of illegal weapons in the streets and children dealing drugs in their schools to innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire of never ending gang wars. The government, schools, social agencies, and the justice system are conspicuous by their sporadic interest in the subject and have failed to develop effective policies and programs. Existing social support mechanisms and strategies for suppressing violence have often been unsuccessful.The movement of youth gang members from one jurisdiction to another appears to have an impact on the criminal activities and involvement of youth as it does the return of gang involved youth inmates from correctional facilities.
From a prevention perspective it is vital understand that youth gang involvement in crime and violence is linked with the experience of the gang itself.Youth gangs are not just an urban phenomenon. They are active across the country in both large and small communities.Results of the Metropolitan Police Survey on Youth Gangs and other sources suggest that youth gangs are a growing concern in many UK jurisdictions. Although not to the same extent as in the United Kingdom, comparisons between the two countries show that almost twice the percentage of jurisdictions in the United Kingdom report active youth gangs as compared with those in England.In recent years as the research has established that youth gangs do exist in the UK and have become an urgent social problem due to their involvement in varying degrees of criminal and violent behaviour.
But most young people involved in group offending do not belong to gangs even if others label them in this way.Most youth who join gangs have already been involved in crime violence and illegal drug use. The prevalence and scope of youth gang involvement varies across the country but the gang effect increased delinquency drug uses violence is a common thread.Integrated targeted and evidence based community solutions are necessary to reduce and prevent proliferation of gangs, drugs and gun violence. These are the factors that act as a catalyst to gang formation because they cover the hedonistic needs of the gangs. A home office report on drug use in delinquent gangs showed that 45% of youths in the gangs had used an illegal drug and 11% a class A drug.
According to the home office, a very number of youths are members of gangs and even a smaller portion of this 6% engage in frequent serious offending. This is not however enough to ignore the fact that most of the violence committed by this age group is accounted for by the gangs.
Article name: Crime typologies essay, research paper, dissertation