Reluctant Gangsters Revisited: The Evolution of Gangs from Postcodes to Profits View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2019-03-13

AUTHORS

Andrew Whittaker, James Densley, Len Cheston, Tajae Tyrell, Martyn Higgins, Claire Felix-Baptiste, Tirion Havard

ABSTRACT

The aim of the current study was to understand how gangs have changed in the past 10 years since Pitts’ (2008) study in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. The study undertook interviews with 21 practitioners working on gang-related issues and 10 young people affected by gangs or formerly embedded in them. Two focus groups involving 37 participants from key agencies then explored the preliminary findings and contributed to a conceptualization of a new operating model of gangs. The study found that local gangs had evolved into more organized and profit-oriented entities than a decade earlier. The new operating model rejected visible signs of gang membership as ‘bad for business’ because they attracted unwanted attention from law enforcement agencies. Faced with a saturated drugs market in London, gangs moved out to capture drugs markets in smaller UK towns in ‘county lines’ activities. This more business-oriented ethos has changed the meaning of both territory and violence. While gang members in the original study described an emotional connection with their postcode, territory is increasingly regarded as a marketplace to be protected. Similarly, violence has moved from an expressive means of reinforcing gang identity to being increasingly used as an instrumental means of protecting business interests. The current study offers a rare opportunity to gain a picture of gangs at two time periods and contributes to work on the contested nature of UK gangs and renewed interest in gang evolution. These findings have important implications for local authorities and criminal justice agencies who need to address the profit motive of gang activity directly. More... »

PAGES

1-22

References to SciGraph publications

  • 2013. How Gangs Work, An Ethnography of Youth Violence in NONE
  • 2016. Critical Realism and Gang Violence in WHAT IS TO BE DONE ABOUT CRIME AND PUNISHMENT?
  • 2009-09. Systemic violence in drug markets in CRIME, LAW AND SOCIAL CHANGE
  • 2018-06. Situating gangs within Scotland’s illegal drugs market(s) in TRENDS IN ORGANIZED CRIME
  • 2011-08. Gang change and evolutionary theory in CRIME, LAW AND SOCIAL CHANGE
  • 2015-05. ‘It’s like working away for two weeks’: The harms associated with young drug dealers commuting from a saturated London drug market in CRIME PREVENTION AND COMMUNITY SAFETY
  • 2001. Resolving The Eurogang Paradox in THE EUROGANG PARADOX
  • Identifiers

    URI

    http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s10610-019-09408-4

    DOI

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10610-019-09408-4

    DIMENSIONS

    https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1112731725


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    Turtle is a human-readable linked data format.

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    RDF/XML is a standard XML format for linked data.

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