Stop calling youth groups gangs, youth justice professionals warn

Labelling youth groups as gangs could glamorise them and encourage young people to become involved in more serious criminal behaviour, youth justice professionals have warned.

survey of youth offending team managers by the Youth Justice Board published today found professionals were concerned about the current “indiscriminate” use of the term gang.

Young people were likely to join gangs and group violence because of poor family relationships, exclusion from school, absence of positive role models and lack of youth facilities, the research also found.

Graham Robb, YJB interim chair said: “Young people on the cusp of antisocial behaviour and offending must be given the right emergency exits to avoid falling into more serious group offending and gangs in those areas where they exist.

“No agency – statutory or community – can tackle this alone. We must continue to work together to bring about change. There is already much work going on in areas affected including by youth offending teams but more needs to be done, especially in prevention work, to halt serious group offending and gang culture.”

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What do you think?
Should the term ‘gang’ be used to describe groups of young people causing trouble? Have your say.





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