Gang culture

Definition of gangs

What is a gang?

Despite a steady decline in adult and youth crime in Britain, in certain parts of our towns and cities and amongst certain social groups, life has become far more dangerous for children and young people. One immediate reason for this is the proliferation of violent youth gangs and the culture that they ferment.

"A gang is a relatively durable, predominantly street based group of young people who: see themselves (and are seen by others) as a discernible group; engage in criminal activity and violence; and may lay claim over territory (this is not necessary geographical territory but can include an illegal economy territory); have some form of identifying structural feature; be in conflict with other, similar gangs."
Centre for Social Justice 2009:21.

Gang-involved and gang-associated

For the purposes of the MAST programme, the term gang-involved is used to describe those who view themselves, and are viewed by others, as a member of a gang and are actively involved in gang-related activities with other members. The authorities will know many, but not necessarily all of these young people.

The term gang-associated is used to describe those young people who have some form of association with a gang or gang-involved individuals, but do not see themselves, and are not seen by others, as members of that gang.

Did you know?

Depression affects as many as one in every 33 children and one in 8 adolescents.