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NCJ Number: 205493 Find in a Library
Title: Police and Community Responses to Youth Gangs
Author(s): Rob White
Date Published: March 2004
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Publication Number: ISBN 0 642 53832 8
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper presents national and international attempts to deal with gang related activity and the extent to which they have been successful.
Abstract: There is a widespread public perception in Australia that youth gangs are a major and growing problem. This perception is strengthened by media images of youth violence and anti-social youth group behavior, by frequent negative pronouncements by politicians about particular youth groups, and by the introduction of measures such as anti-weapons legislation. This report deals not with the question of whether anti-gang strategies should be developed, but rather what kinds of strategies look most promising and least harmful from the point of view of overall community relations and youth rights. American evaluations indicate that community collaboration, crime prevention activities, and suppression tactics are the most effective methods from a law enforcement perspective. The report presents several gang suppression and police intervention tactics used against gang-related behavior. In addition, the issue of weapons, prominent in any discussion of gangs and gang-related behavior, is examined. Other means of dealing with gang-related behavior include the use of coercive measures to deal with groups or situations that have got out of hand and the use of curfews and anti-loitering laws. A different approach to youth gangs is the development and formulation of intervention strategies at the community level. It is recommended that each community undertake a systematic needs assessment so that it can make informed decisions as to what can be done to stop gang-related behavior with the resources available. Several examples of youth-oriented strategies are discussed. The research shows that intervention must not be exclusively coercive, but must also involve provision of services and opportunities that make pro-social alternatives more attractive than gang membership and engagement in gang-related behavior. 31 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Australia; Crime Control Programs; Crime prevention measures; Gangs; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Youth involvement in crime prevention
Note: Australian Institute of Criminology, Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice No. 274, March 2004.
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