GANGS IN THE UK
In the UK London, Manchester, Liverpool, West Midlands and Northern England are identified as having the most serious gang problems, accounting for 65% of firearm homicides.
Increasingly, Britain’s street gangs in certain inner city areas such as London and Manchester are becoming more of a cultural transmission of America’s Crips and Bloods. This is evidenced by identification with colours, hand signs and gang names, for example Old Trafford Crips and Moss Side Bloods in Manchester or the (O-Tray-One) Bloods gang and ABM (All Bout Money) Crips from South London.
There are roughly 250 street based gangs in London alone. Turf wars among London’s 250 gangs account for half of all shootings and a fifth of stabbings and have fuelled this epidemic of violence. The London evening standard exposed shocking new findings that show how bad “normal” life has become for vulnerable young Londoners. Results from a study show the following:
- Nearly half had seen a stabbing or shooting in the last year.
- One in four reported having witnessed a killing.
- One in five had themselves been stabbed or shot.
It as a fact that many young people joint gangs as a substitute to no or a lack of family qualities (Supported by the Standards investigation).
A child protection expert estimates that 10,000 young Londoners are being exposed to sustained and extreme violence in their family and their community. Researchers likened the conditions they live in to the front line of a war zone.
Overall a gang leader could be born out of many situations and gang members are the same. A leader could be vicious or nice. A gang member could be willing or forced into their position. For a lot of people they feel they don’t have a choice and it’s the best way to survive. There are many stories as to how people form and run gangs but in reality they are run by respect within a family tree with all members having each other’s best interest at heart and taking orders of violence or drug running from the most feared valued or popular member. With lower level gang members their ambition is usually to be at the top giving orders as a gang “boss”. With this as their goal young people can go to reckless and sometimes fatal measures to show off or prove themselves to others.
The Current Problem:
More young people are facing or involved with serious youth violence than ever before. We have a spike in gangs and knife crime across England and things seem to be getting worse! Over 100 young people have died on our street this year alone, this is one of the highest rates across the world. Studies show that school exclusions have contributed to rising gang crime (Independent).
The latest statistics revealed a 12 per cent rise in the number of homicides, a 16 per cent increase in knife crime and a 30 per cent increase in robbery. There have been more than 100 murders in London so far this year, with a third of the victims aged between 16 and 24.
The home secretary makes a statement which we agree with “violence should be treated as a contagious disease”. Sajid Javid made the announcement at the Conservative party conference in a bid to tackle the rising number of stabbings and shootings across England and Wales. He is keen to back the adoption of a ‘public health approach’.
The “public health approach” to violence was pioneered in Chicago in the US in 2000 and has been successfully used in Scotland for more than a decade. Great results have been seen in both areas.