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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2019

John Pitts

The purpose of this paper is to consider what the author might call the evolution of the evolutionary argument about gangs and, while acknowledging its explanatory power…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider what the author might call the evolution of the evolutionary argument about gangs and, while acknowledging its explanatory power, suggests that gangs may develop in very different ways depending on the available opportunities, pre-existing forms of criminality in the areas in which gangs emerge and global change.

Design/methodology/approach

It is based on a review of the relevant literature and interviews with purposive samples of research, criminal justice and social welfare professionals and young people involved in or affected by gang crime. Findings were triangulated with data held by the police and other public authorities.

Findings

The term “street gang” includes a wide variety of groupings all of which are involved in some form of crime but with differential levels of organisation and commitment to purely instrumental goals. Gangs may form but not necessarily evolve. Gangs appear to develop in very different ways depending on the available opportunities, pre-existing forms of criminality in the areas in which they emerge and global changes in drugs markets.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper consists in its interrogation of the concept of “gang evolution” and its discussion of the variety of forms and evolutionary trajectories of gangs.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 23 September 2020

John Pitts

The purpose of this study is to suggest how the Covid-19 lockdown may affect illicit drug users and vulnerable children and young people who become involved in County…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to suggest how the Covid-19 lockdown may affect illicit drug users and vulnerable children and young people who become involved in County lines drug dealing.

Design/methodology/approach

This is an “opinion piece” based on data released by central and local government departments and voluntary sector sources concerning the impact of the Covid-19 restrictions on illicit drug users and vulnerable children and young people. The data is augmented with information from recent discussions with police officers, youth workers and social workers in a London borough.

Findings

It appears that the Covid-19 restrictions have had, and will continue to have, a deleterious impact upon both illicit drug users and the young people caught up in County lines drug distribution.

Originality/value

The study’s originality lies in its attempt to use a range of sources to anticipate the consequences of the Covid-19 restrictions on illicit drug users and vulnerable children and young people.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 August 2019

John Pitts

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952

Abstract

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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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.

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2009

John Pitts

In this article John Pitts contrasts John Hegedorn's account of the proliferation of violent youth gangs with those of conventional gang scholars.

Abstract

In this article John Pitts contrasts John Hegedorn's account of the proliferation of violent youth gangs with those of conventional gang scholars.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2019

John Pitts

The purpose of this paper is to consider youth gangs and county lines with reference to the current drive for a public health response to these issues.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider youth gangs and county lines with reference to the current drive for a public health response to these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This viewpoint paper traces the development of gang and serious youth violence responses in England, exploring the shift from a punitive to safeguarding response to young people affected by these issues.

Findings

Drawing on the learning from both Scotland and the USA, this paper considers the relevance of a public health model to responding to youth gangs and county lines, highlighting the key facets of such an approach.

Originality/value

This paper provides a historical context to the issues surrounding previous responses to youth gangs and goes on to consider the practicalities and relevance of a public health model response.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2020

Paul Olaitan and John Pitts

This paper aims to endeavour to sketch out a blueprint for effective collaborative working in resettlement.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to endeavour to sketch out a blueprint for effective collaborative working in resettlement.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a review of the relevant research and interviews with professionals concerned with the resettlement of young people from custody in organisations and agencies that were partners in the Beyond Youth Custody programme.

Findings

Practitioners working on the youth resettlement pathway between custody and community report collaborative practices to be more beneficial both to the young people involved as well as the practitioners themselves, in the conduct of their efforts.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the originality of this paper consists in its investigation of resettlement practice by consulting those actually engaged in the resettlement process.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2008

Chris Fox and John Pitts

Abstract

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Chris Fox and John Pitts

Abstract

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

John Pitts

This article examines research on the socio‐economic changes that have generated new offending patterns in the United States and a proliferation of the ‘gang’ phenomenon…

Abstract

This article examines research on the socio‐economic changes that have generated new offending patterns in the United States and a proliferation of the ‘gang’ phenomenon in that country. Evidence is presented that there have been analogous socioeconomic changes in the UK and these may have outcomes that produce similar, if culturally distinct, manifestations of youth criminality.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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