Gangs and gang crime

What to look for

Once you are aware of the structures, behaviours, brands and symbols of gangs, you can look for these signs both at home and away from home.

Questions you can ask yourself include:

  • Friends – Do you know them? Do you know their families? Where do they live? Do they concern you? Do they have tattoos or expensive clothes? Are they open to meeting family? Are they respectful?

  • Socialising – Where do they hang out? How do they spend their free time?

  • Social media – Do you know their social media names? Do you know their mobile phone habits? How many phones do they have? Do you have their numbers? Can you 'follow' them on social media? Do you know what they're posting? What apps are on their phone?

  • Music – Who are they listening to?

  • Curfew – Do they come home on time? Are they staying out overnight? Where are they and who are they with?

  • Language – Are they talking about gangs or gang culture? Are they talking in slang a lot? Do you know what they are saying?

  • Bank accounts – Do you have access to their account? Can you monitor what's coming in and going out?

  • Travel – How are they getting around?

  • Weapons – Do you know how many knives are in the kitchen? Would you notice if one was missing?

If your gut feeling is that something isn't right, don't sit on concerns – share them with others.

By staying aware you can:

  • spot the signals – look for the silent signs
  • share concerns and get help – it's safeguarding

Remember, not all kids who hang around in groups are in gangs.

You can find more information on gangs and gang culture at:

Get online – times move quick, so keep up to date with what's going on.