I enjoy having conversations with other parents and non-parents about gang culture and the problematic rise in crime in London. I am a former Londoner who has moved out of London. And with no willingness to return for the safety of my son. I grew up in the 90’s so I am not that much older than many of the teenage gang members in London today. It has been reported that 6% of 10 to 19 years old belong to a gang in England and Whales. Gang culture researcher Keir Irwin Rogers said that “there was 9000 stabbing in London alone – 2017”. The Rise in knife crime in kent has also risen by more than 150% whitin the last ten years.
There is a reason why so many teenagers are joining gangs. One of those reasons is many impressionable young people live up to their expectations. Peer pressure and being groomed by adults also referred to as “older’s”. Some of these children are no more than victims of being a product of their environment.
Other factors include what they see on TV when they watch music videos. A considerable amount of these children aspire to be like rappers. The derogatory lyrics to some of the songs are promoting and glamorising gang culture, violence. It has also been reported that young people have adopted foreign customs they don’t understand. Such as style of dressing. The ever so favourite wearing the tracksuit bottoms extremely low, showing unsightly undergarments.
The new genre of music that complies with inciting crime is called drill music. Many of these drill songs have been removed from YouTube. A big drill group/gang are called Mosco 17. Raheim Barton was killed this year in London who was apart of this drill group/gang. His mother went to extra lengths to keep her son safe, by sending him to Jamaica to live with his uncle for one year. When he arrived back to back to the UK within a month, he was stabbed to death in London.
Former prolific members of rival gangs “Bloods and Crips” in the US. Had stated that many of the gang members rivalling over postcodes are aspiring to be as prominent and feared as they were when they were gang members. The gang culture has been overly glamorised, and young people have been drawn into it. Through lack of guidance and self-worth.
With older men in gangs purposely targeting young people to single-parent households. Luring them in with the latest trainers and other sportswear. These children are an easy target for them because they prey on people they perceive that society does not value. Those who are less likely to be protected by the police and the law. As Thesiger has described, young people are bored and have nothing to do. This also contributes to activities youths will do.
I often read articles on stabbing in London and then read the comments. There are too many people blaming the parents for the crimes committed by gang members and those who are victims of unproved attacks. It is reported that a high level of gang culture is happening in specific areas of our cities. With gang-related crime responsible for 22% of all serious crimes in the UK. Many of these cities are in less affluent parts of the UK.
The main reason I say we must stop blaming parents is no parent in a sound, and capable mind will condone any form of stabbings or shooting. Yes, many of these boys have been brought up in single parents household. Barack Obama made an emotional speech about the link between single parenthood and crime. He stated that “children who grow up in single-parent families are five times more likely to commit crimes when they are older. Which also has a proven link to growing up in poverty.
We can’t continue to blame parents for something bigger than themselves. Gang culture has been around since the Victorian times. Famous gags include the Peaky Blinders in the late 1800’s. They were like many gangs today, commonly recruiting children and targeting the most vulnerable in society. This leads to another question. Do these gangs see a particular type of child more vulnerable because of their parents social class? These gangs spread and recruit in the weakest part of our cities. Many of the younger children joining groups have absent fathers.
Statistics on who is most likely to commit crimes to show that men are more likely to commit crimes than women. When I analysed statistics of men relationships with a crime it showed that there are numerous factors contributed to the different types of crimes boys/men commit. The position one has in society dictates the resources available to them. The expression of masculinity determines the kind of crimes that one will invest. Male dominance then contributes to a man asserting is power and masculinity. Boys are more likely to be expressive and dominant as they aren’t as pressured as girls to conform to societies perceptions. There is a link between today’s patriarchal gangs and the system they follow.
Another aspect and one of less spoken about is the link between mental health and crime researches suggest that 18 % of murders 20 % of crimes are committed by those with mental health issues according to the BBC. The personal aspect of who is held accountable untimely for an offence that is determined by an individual should be the individual. Using a lousy up bring or lack of resources does not justify crime and violence. As they have a ripple effect on victims. Such as those who had a lost one taken from a knife or gun crime. Those who lost a loved from the usage of drugs that these gangs are commonly involved w. The fear and the social anxiety that young boys and girls experience because they are intimidated, and they join in these gangs and participate in crimes they would never have imagined themselves doing. And due to peer pressure, they have become compliance with crimes and general behaviours that are deemed unacceptable in the eyes of the law. Many of these young people have no value for life of themselves without the most significant role models.
The Marxist theory states that crime served as a response by economically disadvantaged to change the distribution of income to be more equal. Suggesting that there are higher rates of crime in capitalist societies. Similarly, it has been proposed that inequality leads to reduced self-esteem and negative self-image which will also contribute to the offence.
Cuts made in 2010 which saw the budget for policing reduced lead to 21 thousand police officers losing their jobs. Since this knife crime is at a seven-year high amongst children. Stop and search is being called to come back in however critics are pointing out that this policy puts a strain on the working relationships with the police and most commonly the black communities. Police stop and search is at its lowest point in 10 years.
The prevalence of knife crime is higher than gun crime although gun crimes carry a 5-year sentence and knife crime carries a 2-year sentence. It appears that the heftier sentencing for this crime may be acting as a deterrent to gun crime. There have been debates on increasing the prison sentencing for these crimes in the current situation the prison population is in. Is this idea the best. Sweden has taken a more radical approach to deal with these sorts of crimes. Should the UK follow suit? Some reseachers have pointed out that the rate of reoffending is proven that Britians prison system is ineffective.