General Article Gangs and street violence

Topic Selected: Youth Violence Book Volume: 430

The police define a gang as a group of people who are involved in organised crime activity.

A group of mates who live in the same area as each other, or all go to the same school, and who hang around together is not a gang and the police wouldn’t see them as such as long as they were behaving in line with the law.

What is a gang?

The police define gangs as a group of people who may commit crimes or hurt people. They might carry knives or other weapons and use them either to show off or to threaten people. They might try to get you involved with them and what they do – or threaten to hurt you if you don’t join them, or if you belong to another gang.

Gangs are often involved in various types of street crime, and being a victim of gang crime can happen to anyone. It could happen just to you, to other gangs or groups, or to whole communities. It often takes place in public areas such as on the street, in parks and shopping centres, and you may know the person or people committing the cr...

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