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To what extent, if any, does contemporary Britain have a gang problem - Essay Example

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The Gang Problem in the UK Introduction In order to answer the question of the gang problem in the UK, one must first understand the composition of a gang, the individuals and the features of a gang. It is imperative to establish the actual meaning of a ‘gang’ and the different meanings in various cultures…
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To what extent, if any, does contemporary Britain have a gang problem
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Download file to see previous pages The gang is composed of member ranks, initiation activities and an intrinsic level of hierarchy. This paper gives an in depth analysis of the history of gangs in the UK, several aspects affecting existence their gangs and reasons for violence. The gang problem is mainly experienced in the cities of Liverpool, Manchester and London and regionally across South coast, West midlands and Northern England. Concerning street gangs, the cities that have been reported to have high levels of gang- related crimes have also been observed to have high levels of firearm killings. These include Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and London. On the other hand, Glasgow has a profound gang culture and it is reported to have nearly six times as many gangs as London which has a relatively higher population. The increasing number of street gangs in London and Manchester can be attributed to the influence by the American culture that can be observed from the type of graffiti, gang names, colours and signs used by the gangs (Arlen et al., 2010). History of the Gang Problem There have been some changes over the last thirty years in the way the police and the society in general looked at issues concerning gangs. In the 1960s and 1970s the police recognized the presence of gangs in the community but they were not acknowledged as major threat owing to the magnitude of other security issues in the world. The 1980s saw increased awareness about gangs as the problems relating with gangs were becoming more real (Gordon et al., 2004: 57). This continued in the 1990 because of the growth in the aging population. This led to the establishment of several initiatives that were funded by the government. Such programs include the Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and Operation Weed and Seed whose main objective was to fight gang operations in the major cities. There was mounting publicity on the issue and this resulted to the formulation of legislation to bring the problem of gangs to the end. This shifted attention by the media on gangs brainwashed the public into believing that gang crime was widespread but this was untrue (Arlen et al., 2010). During this period of gang revolution the only thing attributed to gang activities is the infamous drug trade. In the early 1990s gangs were setting up drug networks that swept across the nation like wild fire. The number of street gangs grew immensely and this led to an increase in crime in the cities (Gatti et al., 2005: 1179). New gangs were forming at an alarming rate and this trend has continued to date. The 21st century is characterised by a rise in gang activity. Their activities have got more sophisticated and discrete (Peterson, 2004: 800). As a result, the police and other intelligence organisations should come up with innovative methods to curb gang activities. In conclusion gangs are evolving and so should the initiatives to fight against crime evolve. Age Teens and young adults are the main parties involved in gang crime as illustrated by recent studies into crime (Taylor et al., 2007: 356). This can be attributed to negative influences by their peers, social status and lack of parental guidance which contributes to the high levels of crime in the UK (Teen Help, 2010). Teens are in constant need of parental guidance to ensure that they make the right decisions in life. Sadly, the number of family problems in society has increased and this has a negative impact on their lives and in turn ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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