Gangs and gang crime

What attracts young people

There are many reasons why young people become involved with gangs.

Young people may want to join gangs:

  • for protection from others – gangs, groups or peers
  • for safety in numbers
  • to be accepted
  • to feel part of a 'family'
  • for a sense of identity
  • for respect
  • because siblings or other family members are involved
  • for status amongst peers and others
  • because gangs are common in the area
  • due to fear of intimidation or threats from others
  • due to peer pressure
  • due to a lack of family or emotional support
  • due to cultural identity
  • because they lack positive role models
  • because they're bored
  • because they think it's attractive and cool
  • for financial gain and other rewards

Drill music

Drill music first came from Brixton, south London in 2012 and has since become a lot more popular with older and younger people. UK drill music is heavily related to road rap, a British style of gangsta rap that became popular before drill.

Artists often rap about their violent and criminal lifestyle. Most drill music uses violent language and slang to deliver a message. Those who make drill music are mostly affiliated with gangs and use their music to send messages to rival gangs.

UK drill groups rely on internet platforms such as YouTube to share their music and gain thousands, if not millions of views.

In some cases, drill music can be a way of grooming young people into believing that it’s a good lifestyle to have. The music videos often show expensive cars and clothes, making young people believe that joining a gang gives them these luxuries when it’s not the case.