Search results

1 – 10 of over 3000
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 11 July 2019

Paul Andell

County lines involving the exploitation of vulnerable children and young people by gangs have been described as a bigger threat than the exploitation exposed by the…

Abstract

Purpose

County lines involving the exploitation of vulnerable children and young people by gangs have been described as a bigger threat than the exploitation exposed by the Rotherham scandal (The Times, 27 November 2017). The purpose of this paper is to explain the contingencies and drivers informing gang identities in the irregular economy of drugs and make some suggestions to address these.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses the social reality (ontology) of UK gangs in the UK and the different theories of knowledge about gangs (epistemologies) that can both help and hamper gangspolicy and practices. The paper is based on recent research and sets out strategic ideas for good community safety practice in order to develop multi-modal partnership interventions in gang-affected neighbourhoods. Recent policies are located within the broader political economy of crime, which raises questions of current policy direction to achieve safer neighbourhoods.

Findings

A critical realist approach to gangs (Pitts, 2016) assumes that unobservable structures (patterns of relations and roles) cause observable events (gang behaviour). This suggests a reality of gangs independent of theories about them. In this paradigm, the author’s theories about the world are historically, socially and culturally situated and always partial. Not only do gangs change in space and time, but also so do the author’s representations of them.

Research limitations/implications

Arguably, at this moment, the authors’ best ideas about the underlying causal forces which precipitate gangs involve social structures which have push and pull factors acting in conjunction with culturally enmeshed individuals with limited choices. The pushes of social exclusionary factors such as institutional racism and unemployment act in consort with pull factors of excessive consumerism. However, the author’s ideas about gangs are partial and fallible, and this demands a methodological pluralism that involves a range of stakeholders when researching and formulating appropriate interventions.

Practical implications

To address the impact of gang violence at the micro or neighbourhood level, Andell and Pitts (2009, 2013, 2017) developed an interactive model of action research which is inclusive of the experiences and knowledge of stakeholders. This knowledge can be valuable not only to build multi-modal strategies in gang-affected neighbourhoods, but can also be useful as a reflexive spur to provide feedback and direction on what works to reduce community harms. Earlier research experience (Andell and Pitts 2009, 2013, 2017) informs ideas that that single agency or “siloed” approaches to problems associated with gangs and drug markets can cause confusion and mistrust for other stakeholders and that more integrated approaches are needed.

Social implications

In order to assist young people to attain their potential with the assistance of institutions, both micro and macro changes need to take place. The social capital of community networks needs to be enhanced and the redistributive potential of economic policy needs to be enacted. Therefore, policy is needed which is founded on the belief that research is capable of understanding the mechanisms that produce material and cultural domination, and this analysis, in conjunction with stakeholder knowledge, could lead to a realistic program for collective actions in both the micro and macro spheres that reduce relative deprivation and curb the cultural mores for excess.

Originality/value

The paper suggests a critical realist approach to gangs (Pitts, 2016) and assumes that unobservable structures (patterns of relations and roles) cause observable events (gang behaviour). This imputes a reality of gangs independent of theories about them. In this paradigm, the author’s theories about the world are historical, socially and culturally situated and always partial. Not only do gangs change in space and time, but also so do the author’s representations of them.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 31 January 2011

David Pyrooz, Scott Decker and Mark Fleisher

This article examines a range of issues associated with gangs in incarcerated settings. We begin by examining the similarities and differences between street and prison…

Downloads
1069

Abstract

This article examines a range of issues associated with gangs in incarcerated settings. We begin by examining the similarities and differences between street and prison gangs, and differentiating them from other types of criminal groups. Next, we focus on the emergence and growth of gangs in prison, including patterns and theoretical explanations. Importantly, we draw theoretical linkages between differing perspectives on gang emergence and gang violence. We also present administrative and official responses to gangs in prison. Finally, we discuss the movement from prison to the street, examining the difficulties that former prisoners face when re‐entering communities.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 15 September 2020

Daniel Scott

The purpose of this paper is to compare gang member identification methods across regions in the United States as reported by law enforcement.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare gang member identification methods across regions in the United States as reported by law enforcement.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were collected through surveys with various law enforcement jurisdictions in both urban and rural communities across the United States. Methods of gang member identification were compared across the United States. Region through the use of Ordinal Logistic Regression and Multiple Imputation.

Findings

The results reveal that there are systematic variations in methods of gang member identification across regions in the United States. Specifically, the West is significantly more likely to identify gang members through associations or arrests with known gang members, symbols and self-nomination compared to other regions. The South, Northeast and Midwest regions are significantly more likely to identify gang members through a reliable informant compared to the West.

Originality/value

Research has not compared gang member identification methods across region in the United States or examined how variations in gang member identification methods potentially impact the accuracy of reported gang problems and prevalence.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Jennifer S. Wong, Jason Gravel, Martin Bouchard, Karine Descormiers and Carlo Morselli

– The purpose of this paper is to synthesize the effects of gang prevention programs on gang membership.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to synthesize the effects of gang prevention programs on gang membership.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a systematic literature review across 19 bibliographic databases and a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of these strategies.

Findings

The database search resulted in 3,850 hits. Of the 162 studies that were screened in full, six involved a prevention program with outcomes commensurate for meta-analysis. Pooled log odds ratios indicate a significant, positive effect of gang prevention programs at reducing gang membership; however, sensitivity analysis demonstrates that the results are driven by the effects of a single study.

Originality/value

Despite the small sample size, the current study presents the best available evidence regarding the effectiveness of gang membership prevention programs. There is a critical need in the field of gang control for rigorous evaluation of prevention strategies.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 1 February 2008

John Pitts

John Pitts outlines recent developments on gang crime, including policy initiatives and regional and local projects.

Downloads
152

Abstract

John Pitts outlines recent developments on gang crime, including policy initiatives and regional and local projects.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Matthew Valasik, Shannon E. Reid and Matthew D. Phillips

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of the temporary disbandment of a gang unit on collecting gang intelligence and arresting gang members in one of the Los…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of the temporary disbandment of a gang unit on collecting gang intelligence and arresting gang members in one of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Community Policing Areas.

Design/methodology/approach

An interrupted time series methodology (ARIMA) is utilised to examine 1,429 field interview cards and 1,174 arrests of gang members that occurred from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2011 within one police division.

Findings

Results indicated that the dismantling of the gang unit negatively impacted the collection of intelligence on gang members by officers, regardless of whether the officers were officially serving in the gang unit. Suppression efforts by gang unit officers also resulted in a sustained decline.

Originality/value

Given that many urban centres have specialised gang units, this study demonstrates how organisational turnover or disbandment of a gang unit negatively impacts a department’s ability to deal with local gang issues. Furthermore, these finding suggest that police organisations should consider such ramifications on intelligence-based policing activities.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Expert briefing
Publication date: 4 November 2015

Despite being situated in one of the world's most notorious drug trafficking regions, Panama enjoys comparative peace and security.

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-DB206407

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
Topical
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 11 January 2016

Hannah Smithson and Rob Ralphs

At a time when youth gangs and gang policy feature significantly in the discourse on UK youth, it is judicious to critique the framework and evidence upon which these…

Downloads
1891

Abstract

Purpose

At a time when youth gangs and gang policy feature significantly in the discourse on UK youth, it is judicious to critique the framework and evidence upon which these policy developments have originated. The political focus on gangs was heightened, in part, by the English riots in 2011. The reaction to the riots was a “concerted all-out war on gangs” and led to the development of the national Ending Gangs and Youth Violence (EGYV) strategy. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use Manchester as a case study to illustrate what the they argue to be the misplaced focus of the current EGYV strategy and provide a detailed critique of the strategy to date.

Findings

The paper suggests that government funded gang interventions are currently bereft of a “what works” approach and should only be implemented when the authors have significantly developed the knowledge and understanding of gangs in a local context.

Originality/value

The paper calls for a stronger evidence based policy approach to tackling gangs.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 13 May 2020

Robert Francis Hesketh and Rachael Box

This paper aims to disseminate previous street gang research by Hesketh (2018) and the ongoing practice of Box (2015) in countering network poverty as a precursor to gang

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to disseminate previous street gang research by Hesketh (2018) and the ongoing practice of Box (2015) in countering network poverty as a precursor to gang membership through bridging/social mixing.

Findings

The findings draw attention to the considerable amount of research, media reports and government policy that has intensified and pathologised the issue of gang membership and its causes in the UK. Moreover, they identify the effects of marginalisation and limited opportunity as the main protagonists and highlight how young disenfranchised people some more resilient than others cope with growing up in areas void of legitimate life choices and positive networks. In particular, the study finds evidence that bridging and the resulting social mixing as a result of temporary migration was highly significant in the decision to conform, desist or abstain from gang membership.

Research limitations/implications

Liverpool study involved males only (need to examine females within the Merseyside area) although London practice addresses both young men and women. The paper highlights the impact of bridging as an intervention in countering network poverty and friendship networks restricted to marginalised environments, leaving many young people vulnerable to gang involvement, knife and youth crime.

Practical implications

Impact of bridging on young people in the development of good social capital is as follows: it highlights actual practice of findings in deterring young people away from gangs and criminality; it highlights the need for more interventions aimed at bridging communities; and it identifies the need for interventions around young disenfranchised people (social intelligence).

Social implications

The evidence suggests that interventions involving bridging both internally and externally can be instrumental in developing policy that aims to deter young people away from street crime.

Originality/value

The paper attempts to provide originality in highlighting a process that has not been fully implemented within current policy involving young disenfranchised people, gangs and violence.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

John Pitts

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the evolution of HM government’s gang strategy from 2011 to the present. It considers why an initial emphasis upon the “troubled…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the evolution of HM government’s gang strategy from 2011 to the present. It considers why an initial emphasis upon the “troubled family” as the progenitor of gang violence has given way to more tightly focussed modes of intervention in which concerns about gang violence are conflated with other policy concerns.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on a range of policy documents over the relevant period to demonstrate a shift in rhetoric and focus and assesses this trajectory against the evidence base suggested by other relevant literature.

Findings

The argument contained in the paper attributes this shift in focus to a combination of the insights provided by new research, dwindling budgets and the reformulation of the original policy objectives in terms of recent policy priorities.

Social implications

It is suggested that in times of austerity, policy initiatives are reformulated to fit available resources but changes are presented as an improvement on what went before.

Originality/value

The paper uses secondary sources to develop and original analysis and argument.

1 – 10 of over 3000