Gangs and gang crime

What you can do

There are a number of ways that parents, carers and professionals who work with young people can deal with concerns about gangs. These include:

  • talking and listening – encourage the young person to talk to you, tell them about your concerns and about gang culture so they can see the risks themselves, ask them questions and listen to how they talk and what they say, be prepared to learn, encourage them not to associate with gang members or 'wannabes', encourage them not to identify with gangs or pledge allegiance to a specific gang, encourage them not to hang out where gangs hang out, nor to accept lifts from gang members in cars, nor attend social events arranged by gangs, nor tag any gang graffiti, nor use gang hand signals

  • monitoring attendance – monitor non-attendance and share with parents and carers, check-in with them regularly, encourage them to make contact

  • setting rules and boundaries – impose and monitor curfews, increase reporting and appointments, consider limiting or monitoring access to social media, educate the young person about gangs, and the risks and consequences including carrying weapons or drugs, show interest in their friends and social activities, respect their privacy and feelings but be fair and consistent

  • getting savvy – listen to their music and be aware of the lyrics, use the internet to research, view YouTube video clips that are educational to both parents and young people in respect of gangs, search the meaning of new slang words, be aware of high profile gang activity and murders in the press as this may be spoken about or you may recognise names or they may tell you a friend has died or gone to prison

Be aware

Be aware of:

  • the differences – the scene in Thurrock is not the same as London
  • the things you say – consider comments you may make about race issues, the government or high profile news stories
  • the news and what is going on around you – the causes of recent riots, stop and search, what's going on in Thurrock

Work with others

Professionals who work with young people should:

  • record concerns
  • record street names, associates and areas they talk about
  • share intelligence, information and concerns
  • regularly meet all involved agencies to assess and manage risks and safeguarding

Work with others to manage risk effectively and safeguard the young person.