This blog is all that remains from the former website which was closed after 8 years of providing a 'wiki' of urban street gangs in London.

An unfinished history of modern urban street gangs in London has been used to replace some of the content of the original site, beginning here

About Gangs

  • The problem of urban violence in multiply deprived neighbourhoods is not essentially a problem of gangs and should not be constructed as if it is. This belief has pushed into the background the multitude of other factors that have a determinate effect on street-violence.
  • Gang membership in the UK is no more than 3-7% (Home Office) of youths whilst 90% (Youth Justice Board) of youths regardless of ethnicity have not been involved in crime.
  • Gangs do not pose a significant threat to the safety of the wider community (most “gang-crime” occurs between “gang-members”).
  • There is no reliable definition as to what a gang is; furthermore not all gang members commit crime. According to a Home Office study of young gang members only 20% of self-defined members reported to having engaged in violence, weapon and drug related offences.
  • There is no accurate way to count and define “gang-related” crime, the true motive behind many so-called gang crimes lies in interpersonal disputes and trivial matters unrelated to the gang as a collective.
  • Public fear has been a consequence of media portrayals with stories that reinforce common beliefs about gangs, emphasising violent behaviour associated to gangs and gang members.
  • Many gangs do not engage solely in criminal acts
  • Police officials often act in an arbitrary manner when documenting an individual as a gang member. This has resulted in a number of individuals being unfairly labelled as gang members. Individuals are often documented solely as a consequence of the neighbourhood in which they live, their relationship with a documented gang member, or their style of dress.
  • Many crimes that characterise the culture go unreported. The fear that is created and permeates the culture in question cannot be represented in crime statistics.
  • The use of the term “gang-related” is inconsistent; often we classify an incident as gang related simply because the individual involved is a gang member.
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