A street gang is a group of individuals or close friends identifying with or claiming control over territory in a community, and engaging either individually or collectively in violent behaviour or other types of criminal activity.
They might carry knives or other weapons and use them either to show off or to threaten people. They might try and get you involved with them and what they do – or threaten to hurt you if you don’t join them, or if you belong to another gang.
Being a victim of gang crime can happen to anyone; to individuals, other gangs or groups, or to whole communities. It often takes place in public areas, and you may or may not know the person or people committing the crime.
What to look out for?
There aren't any definite signs but here are some things to look out for:
Why do young people join gangs?
Founder of SOS Project and ex-gang member Junior Smart talks about the three big denials plaguing gangs and serious youth violence work.
Gangsline parenting page offers help and info, including legal advice.
Confidential helpline: 0800 032 9538
Family Lives offering support to parents to deal with the changes of family life.
Confidential helpline: 0808 800 2222