File Name: empirical research on the nature of gang behavior and delinquency 2018.zip
This information sheet is one of a series providing information related to youth gang involvement. It is designed to assist those who are concerned about youth gangs and who are working to help prevent youth from becoming involved in gangs or to help them leave gangs.
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- The London killings of 2018: the story behind the numbers and some proposed solutions
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Author: Paul Andell Tags: county lines , crime , drugs , young people , youth violence. In this article, Paul Andell explores the need for new theories about gangs, violence and drug markets that take account of recent changes to drug markets, gang involvement and organised criminal networks.
He calls for theories that will allow new contextual and situational models of policy and practice to be developed that take account of differences between areas and the realities of issues such as 'County Lines' and youth violence.
The purpose of this article is not to fan the flames of moral panic regarding gangs, and their involvement with County Lines and violence, but to further familiarise practitioners with evidence of the changing context in which they practice.
These changes contrast with the emphasis of earlier reports which focused on social supply of these drugs through local informal networks e.
Coomber et al Recent evidence suggests increasing professionalised arrangements have emerged, now popularly known as County Lines, which involve widespread exploitation of young and vulnerable people in order to expand class A drug markets from cities to smaller towns. An early analysis of these arrangements was previously published in Youth and Policy Andell and Pitts These changes inevitably will have profound effects on services and should be taken seriously in policy and practice not at least because of the disproportionate impact on socially excluded young people and on the communities in which new drug supply networks develop.
While there is no doubt that the media can amplify deviance and evoke deep emotions about reported issues, it should also be remembered, as Young has argued, there has to be deviance in the first place in order for it to be amplified. My own recent analysis offers explanations of how ideas and policies about gangs have changed from an over cautious de facto denial of gangs towards, arguably, a disconnected acceptance of gangs as part of everyday life in some neighbourhoods Andell a.
Hallworth provides a useful description of County Lines which asserts that they:. Hallworth , p. Current ideas regarding contextual safeguarding for vulnerable young people who are subject to peer exploitation have been developed by Carlene Firmin and colleagues that take account of these features of County Lines arrangements.
Contextual safeguarding is a response to extra-familial forms of abuse, which consists of an approach to child protection intended to assess, support, and where necessary intervene with, peer relationships in educational and public contexts, where young people are at risk of significant harm.
It is a form of intervention which addresses extra-familial risk through the lens of child welfare, as opposed to crime reduction or community safety. However, different theories about the social reality of English street gangs can both help and hamper policy and practice responses to gangs. Recent national policies are located within ideological frameworks and particularly the present economic policy context of austerity.
This raises questions regarding policy directions to achieve safer neighbourhoods see Andell a. As such, I have framed some possible developments for good community safety practice and possible alternative policy directions Andell b.
These contextual interventions will be different in different places but involve the common approach of action research which seeks to bring together stakeholder views on enforcement, situational prevention, individual and peer interventions and community development.
Some of us working in this academic area suggest that unobservable structures patterns of relations and roles between young people and gang members cause observable events gang behaviour which have resulted in changing patterns of drug dealing Andell and Pitts Practitioners may be aware of some of the recent changes through problems presented by their clients but may not be fully cognisant of the causal tendencies of what their clients present, particularly if services are provided remotely from the peer networks and neighbourhoods in which the violence and offending occurs.
Further Intelligence Assessments continue to be produced. Gang violence has emerged as both an expressive and functional tool for use in the changing Class A drug markets in the UK. The extent or scale of actual gang related violence in the UK is difficult to discern due to unreported crime and anomalies in recording of reported crime statistics.
Moreover, these difficulties are further exacerbated due to disagreements as to the definition of street gangs Pyrooz and Densley These off-street arrangements sometimes result in gang elders being represented in their absence by younger, less organised local gang members. A model of this type of flexible gang structure is provided by the Centre for Social Justice The study estimated that up to 27, English children and young people were gang members, with a further 60, involved with gangs or siblings of gang members Longfield, An All Party Political Group APPG which enables parliamentarians and practitioners to exchange ideas produced a briefing on the nature of missing young people caught up in County Lines.
The Commission received over responses to the survey and a full analysis of the responses is due soon.
The Office for National Statistics states that the overall trend in violent crime over the past twenty years has been one of decline. However, there is evidence of an increase in some lower-volume, higher-harm violent offences recorded by the police. Government figures suggest that the number of homicides recorded by the police have risen consecutively over the past four years ending March , following a long-term decline.
Police recorded crime and National Health Service NHS data have also indicated rises in the number of offences involving knives or sharp instruments over the last four years ONS Grimshaw and Ford outline the recent increase in crime relating to young people, violence and knives.
Finigan-Carr et al argue that for young people who live in relatively deprived neighbourhoods, street culture increases the likelihood of involvement in negative peer relationships, encounters with violent victimisation, easier access to weapons, and witnessing street violence. It is suggested that this, in turn, increases fear for future lethal violence and reduces the ability of families and communities to manage aggressive youth behaviours.
Elijah Anderson describes how a reputation for violence in some street cultures may not return fiscal capital for the young people but can provide them with social capital. Simon Harding refers to this form of social capital as street capital. Andell and Pitts argue that there is evidence to suggest that the practices of some English street gangs have evolved into drugs distribution networks which now cover large areas of the UK. It is arguable that this evolution is contingent on the global features of availability of class A drugs and the local bridging capital of pre-existing criminal networks.
Pre-existing opportunity structures for crime are integral to these potential transitions for contemporary English gangs. Understanding access to the middle drugs market is crucial in explaining the potential evolution of street gangs into the realms of local organised crime and the functional rather than simply, expressive use of violence in the alternative market of illegal drugs.
This suggests that in the development of County Lines networks, the required bridging capital has been achieved. In academia, much debate has taken place as to whether gangs exist see Pitts These academic positions have relevance for policy and practice.
It can be argued that there is a reality of gangs that is independent of our theories about them, as these theories can only ever be partial. In order for practitioners and policy makers to assist young and vulnerable people attain their potential, both micro and macro changes need to take place. In broader terms, the social capital of community networks needs to be enhanced and new models of moral redistributive economic policy need to be enacted.
Therefore, policy and practices are required which are founded on new and robust evidence. This evidence, in conjunction with stakeholder knowledge, could lead to a realistic programme for collective action in both the micro and macro spheres. The aim of these collective actions being to reduce hardships in relatively deprived neighbourhoods and to curb the cultural mores for excess which can result in participation in illicit economies in a search for respect and reward, as well as responding to the issues of peer-to-peer exploitation exposed through County Lines.
In short, we need to re-examine the relationship between theory, policy and practice in the context of the current UK gangs-discourse. If you would like to support our work, you can donate below.
For further detail contact P. Andell P. London: Palgrave. Safer Communities Volume 18 Issue 2. A Report for Suffolk County Council. Youth and Policy. Anderson E. New York: W. Centre for Social Justice Dying to Belong. Coomber R. Moyle L. British Journal of Criminology. Coffey A. Disley E. Finigan-Carr N. Journal of Interpersonal Violence , 31 19 , — Firmin C. Research and resources from MsUnderstood local site work Grimshaw R. Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. Hallworth J.
Hallsworth S. Harding S. Bristol: Policy Press. Longfield A. National Briefing Report. Intelligence Assessment. Public health matters 25 March The Times Newspaper. Pitts J. Devon: Willan Publishing. Pyrooze D. Whittaker A. Windle J. Young J. Paul Andell works at the University of Suffolk as a Senior Lecturer in Criminology with research interests in gangs and drug markets.
Biography: Paul Andell works at the University of Suffolk as a Senior Lecturer in Criminology with research interests in gangs and drug markets.
The London killings of 2018: the story behind the numbers and some proposed solutions
In sociology and criminology , strain theory states that social structures within society may pressure citizens to commit crime. Strain theory is a sociology and criminology theory developed in by Robert K. This leads to strain which may lead individuals to commit crimes, like selling drugs or becoming involved in prostitution as a means to gain financial security. Robert King Merton was an American sociologist who argued that society can encourage deviance to a large degree. Merton believed that socially accepted goals put pressure on people to conform.
This paper examines the underlying issues behind the London killings of and considers some possible solutions. To do this, primary research has been undertaken with those involved in the violence, those charged with addressing it and those seeking a solution to this crisis. Violence among young people in the capital and elsewhere in Britain has been the focus of much media attention and academic discourse, some of which are examined here. In understanding the causes of the violence, it is, however, incumbent on us all to consider viable ways in which to address the issues behind the killings and identify possible solutions to the problems it creates in communities. The introduction, in January , by the present Home Secretary of knife crime prevention orders appears to have aggravated the situation. Police are already able to tackle criminal behaviour among youngsters carrying knives through dispersal orders. This response by the Government has not addressed the root causes of the issue.
This bulletin presents research on why youth join gangs and how a community can build gangs may engage in minor delinquent behaviors, gang Documents/Assessment-Guide/chezchevaux.org), The empirical evidence demonstrating that the program gang can be a natural process for many youth in socially.
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Posted in Continued Evidence-Based Education. Early onset of delinquent behavior is a predictor of chronic offending. This policy brief is intended to reach the decision makers in the United States Department of Justice.
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