Presentation on theme: "Reluctant Gangsters: Youth Gangs in Waltham Forest"— Presentation transcript:
1Reluctant Gangsters: Youth Gangs in Waltham Forest John PittsVauxhall Professor of Socio-legal Studies, University of Bedfordshire
2MethodologyReview of relevant central/local government/police data and research54 Interviews with key informantsYOT Caseload surveyGang seriousness inventoryLiterature/research reviewAttendance at meetingsMooching about and chatting
3Why here? Why now? In the UK in the 1980-1990s Income polarisation (greatest in Europe)De-industrialisation (20+% of industrial base lost)The secession of the successful (via right to buy)The concentration of disadvantageThe racialisation of disadvantage (London: up to 70% pop. on poorest estate BME: JRF)By % of UK C&YP live in these neighbourhoods: JRF)The concentration of criminal victimisation in areas of acute social deprivation
4In these neighbourhoods crime is: Youthful: Young people are victims and perpetratorsImplosive: Perpetrated by and against local residentsRepetitive: The same people are victimised again and againSymmetrical: Victims and offenders are similar in terms of age, ethnicity and classViolentUnder-reported: Threat of reprisalEmbedded: YP don’t ‘grow out of crime’Drug-driven: ‘street youth’ become ‘players’ in local drugs markets
5From a ‘blag’ to a business Traditional East End organised crime was based on a series of one-off ‘blags’ followed by long, and sometimes luxurious, vacations.By the late 1980s bank/post office robbery, lorry hi-jacking etc. was becoming more hazardousBy the 1990s highly lucrative illicit drugs were flooding into the capital and most upper-echelon gangsters moved into the drugs businessBut the drugs business requires constant maintenance a large and expanding workforce to manufacture, package, distributes and sell drugs, protect the supply chain and ensures ‘contract compliance’.
6The Changing Face of London’s Gangland The Changing Face of London’s Gangland1950/1970sOrganised Crime:N. London - The Adams FamilyE. London - The Kray BrothersS. London - The RichardsonsYouth Movements:Teddy Boys.ModsRockersSkinheadsNeighbourhood-based/Style-based fighting:1980sFrom the Blag: Bank & Post Office robbery, Hijacking, Protection, Long Firms etc.To the Business: DrugsRude Boys/The Posse: StreetCrimeWhite Youth: Football ViolenceAsian Youth: Anti-Racist fight-Back/inter-group violenceNeighbourhood-based/ Team-based/Race-based fighting:
7Organised Crime and Youth Movements Merge ‘Street corner’ youth become the street level workforceof the international drugs businessEarly 2000sRecognisable gangs with names, territories and division of labour. (Faces, Elders, Youngers/ Soldiers/ Sabbos/Shotters) gang territories become synonymous with drug marketsMid-2000sRespect shootings and violent street crime by Elders & Youngers/Soldiers/Sabbos escalate: mainly directed against identified rivals/competitors/enemies
8Conflict broadens; affiliation with ‘Endz’ (post codes/boroughs), 2006/2007Conflict broadens; affiliation with ‘Endz’ (post codes/boroughs),Violence escalates but now more random, directed against unidentified rivals.
9Meanwhile, back on the Beaumont Estate Early 1990s: Beaumont Gang small group of professional criminalsBy the late 1990s: Beaumont Gang (with Tottenham, Harlesden and Hackney) battle for drug/crack cocaine markets in N. & E. London and winBeaumont does deals with the 4 Waltham Forest crime families to divi-up local drugs marketsAs the market expands the workforce expands and drug dealing territories become gang territories:
10Upper Eschelon Drug Wholsalers The FaceEldersYoungerW.beGirl FriendGirl FrienddShotterRGThe Articulated Gang
11The role of the Youngers To ensure drugs get to the ShottersTo protect drug markets from other gangsTo ‘hang out’ to give early warning of police raidsTo patrol territorial boundaries and defend gang territory from other gangs with a ‘beef’.To enforce contracts for Faces or EldersTo collect debts for Faces or Elders
12The role of the Youngers To take revenge/make ‘hits’ on those who disrespect or cheat them or the Faces or EldersTo harass and burgle rival dealersTo undertake street crime to ‘Make their Ps’To engage in ‘anti-social behaviour’/ intimidation of local residentsTo carry drugs/weapons for EldersTo take the rap for elders (incl. ‘doing time’)
13Manuel Castells (2000) says that, with globalisation, the street gang Joined-up Youth CrimeManuel Castells (2000) says that, with globalisation, the street gangbecomes the shop floorof the internationaldrugs business
14Gang Definitions: Hallsworth & Young Peer Group A small, unorganised, transient grouping occupying the same space with a common history. Crime is not integral to their self definitionGang: A relatively durable, predominantly street-based group of young people who see themselves (and are seen by others) as a discernible group for whom crime and violence is integral to the group’s identityOrganised Criminal Group: Members are professionally involved in crime for personal gain operating almost exclusively in the ‘grey’ or illegal marketplace.
15Gang Definitions: Gangs/Groups in Waltham Forest The Articulated GangThe Street GangThe Compressed Street GangThe Wannabee GangstersThe Criminal Youth GroupThe Middle Level International Criminal Business Organisation
16Gang Affiliations in Waltham Forest PiffCityBeaumontPrioryCourtHarlesden CrewHackney:Love of Money Crew,Holly St. Boys & Mothers SquareBoundary/Monserrat BoysDriveAtlee Terrace, Wood St. Marlow. CoppermillChingfordHallCathallLangthorneOliver Cl.CanhallTottenhamMan Dem CrewRussianGangHighams Park GangHackney Overground CommutersNew World OrderStratford/Forest Gate GangsAsian Auto Theft to Order BoundaryHackneyNorth StarBrookscroft/Barrier BoysLithuanian GangPolishHackney E9 Bang BangRed African DevilsGang Affiliations in Waltham ForestKeyAntagonistic relationshipsbetween gangsAlliances Between GangsOut of Borough Gangs
17The Gangs of Waltham Forest The Met. Harm Assessment Scale Crime Type Score/SentencePossess/Use DrugSupply Drug 25Disorder (Affray) 3Low Level Assault (ABH)Serious Assault (GBH) 25KidnapMurder/Manslaughter 25Possession/Use Knife 4Possession/Use Firearms 25Vehicle Crime (TWOC) 5Burglary/Theft (no violence) 14Robbery/Street CrimeFraud/incl. Money Laundering 14
18The Gangs of Waltham Forest The Met. Harm Assessment Scale Beaumont (30-40) (max. score)Piff City (100) (max. score)Priory Court (20-30) 169Red African Devils (6-10) (est.)Drive (30-40)Boundary/Monserrat ( 20-30) 120Canhall (30)Barrier/Brookscroft (10-20) 41.5Highams Park (5-10) 35Hackney Overground Communters 35New World Order (6-10)Asian Auto Theft (10) (est.)Russian/Lithuanian/Polish Gangs (20) Unknown
19Reluctant Gangsters: YOT Caseload Survey (N=59) 42% of caseload is gang involvedCore Member %Regular Member %Ambivalent Member %Reluctant Member %TOTAL40% of them are Reluctant Gangsters
20Reluctant GangstersThey have no previous record, are good school attendees and have a good attitude. But they are coming into the YOT for ‘joint enterprise’ because they were present at the scene.Some kids say they were made to do things by Elders. Many of them don’t necessarily approve of what they are doing. Most kids would rather be doing something else. But gang culture prevents participation. They are frightened to be seen as a ‘pussy’ or to become a target of violence.
21Reluctant GangstersThere were a brother and a sister; he was 15 and she was 14. Never been in trouble. They told them to do a robbery. But they said no. So they beat him up and raped her.So he tells ‘em ‘fuck off’. Anyway, the next thing he knows, someone’s shot-up his mother’s flat. There’s lots of families round here can’t use their front rooms because of this sort of thing.”
22Reluctant GangstersAffiliation because of the risks to oneself and one’s family from non-affiliationAffiliation for protection from other gangs/crewsAffiliation to gain access to educational/recreational resources in gang territoryAffiliation because of lack of access to legitimate opportunityContinued affiliation because of dangers inherent in leaving the gang
23Reluctant GangstersTelling these families to take responsibility for their kids behaviour is like telling them to take their kids into the jungle and take responsibility for them not getting eaten by lions and tigers.
24The Impact of Gangs: Neighbourhoods For five or six years a group of 16 to 18 years olds was terrorising John Walsh and Fredwig Towers. They would wait at the bottom of the lift and take money, mobile phones, clothes that they fancied, even a dog, from the residents. A younger sister also had these terrible parties in the foyer but nobody complained. The Police had been trying to prosecute for years but because of witness intimidation, residents stayed quiet. These kids came to believe they were untouchable.
25The Impact of Gangs: Neighbourhoods As far as they are concerned we don’t exist, and even if we do, we are just some kind of problem that won’t go away. I sometimes think the best thing we could do would be to go out and vote and demand that our politicians listen to what’s happening to us.
26The Impact of Gangs: Schools and Colleges If they think I did that (told the police) we (my family) will have to leave the country) we have already moved once because of threats from gangs.One of my year 10 students was recently gang-raped. I talked to her and her mother. They are obviously very frightened and the mother insists that it was consensual. The girl won’t come to counselling because she is afraid of being seen to talk to anyone in authority about it.
27The Impact of Gangs: Schools and Colleges In September 2006, students at XXX College reported they were being told not to use the college by members of the CH gang.FE colleges ‘belong’ to particular gangs. GM is CH’s and B’s, WF College is PC’s, B’s and B1’sIn WF College, in 2006, two members of OC were stabbed by members of D.
28The Impact of Gangs: The Youth Service Young people and workers are subject to threats and intimidation if we work with non-gang-involved young people in certain areas. I think the danger is that social strategies could be paralysed by territorialism. This is happening in schools and colleges and if it continues we could see the gangs effectively paralysing public services.
29The Impact of Gangs: The Criminal Justice System We have to bus youngsters in to group work programmes; otherwise it’s just too dangerousThey scheduled a B trial and an OC trial on the same day in the same court. Luckily a couple of my officers spotted the guys with the guns and stopped them getting into court, otherwise …
30How many people are affected by gangs? Core 40Soldiers 160Wannabees 250 Reluctant gangsters 250C&YP directly affected 700C&YP indirectly affected 1,400Family members affected 6000
31Responding to Gangs (OJJDP) Organizational change: Multi-agency working/developmentCommunity/professional LeadershipCommunity mobilization: Local citizens and organizations are involved in a common enterprise.Suppression: Arrest and prosecutionSocial intervention: Reaching YP unconnected with social institutions.Social opportunity: Age appropriate opportunity via multi-agency teams
32Responding to Gangs Operation Ceasefire (Boston) I Coordinated leverage on gangs through highly publicised multi-agency crackdowns precipitated by certain specified behaviours i.e. possession or use of knives and firearms, harassment and serious assaults.Enhancing community relations to get local support for targeted crackdowns and stimulate community ‘collective efficacy’ in informal social control and the reduction of incivilities
33Responding to Gangs Operation Ceasefire II Engagement with gang membersTo elicit information, to transmit consistent messages about targeted crackdowns and provide diversionary social, educational, recreational, training and vocational services for members and those on the fringes of the gangs.
34A Seven Point Gang Strategy for Waltham Forest Coordinated leverageEnhancing community relationsEngaging with gang membersMediationTargeted ProtectionSensitisation of agencies (Sect. 17 C&DA)School-based anti-gang-initiatives
35 5 A Four level Gang Intervention Model The Intervention The TargetGroupLevel 1.PPO/Police/Trident/ISSPThis level of work is undertaken by MMAGS and X-itTargeted intervention with core gang members: Elders/Youngers, enforcement, intensive problem-solving, mediation and the development of alternative futures via education, training and employmentLevel 2.YIP/ Extended School/FE Colleges and Specialist Voluntary Youth Serving Agencies. This level of work is undertaken by MMAGS, X-it and the Anderlecht InitiativeTargeted intervention with Youngers and those seriously ‘at risk’ of serious gang involvement like some overly enthusiastic Wannabees. Intensive problem-solving and the development of alternative futures via education, training and employmentLevel 3.LA Outreach Team supported by the Police. This level of work is undertaken by the Anderlecht InitiativeTargeted intervention with moderately ‘at risk’ and gang-affected groups: lower level; Wannabees and Reluctant Gangsters: problem-oriented and social-educational interventionsLevel 4.Housing Associations, Schools/LA Outreach Team/Voluntary Youth Serving Agencies/NGOs/Sports Clubs, supported by the Police. This level of work is currently undertaken by the LA Outreach Team and Housing Assns.Area-based (universal) social- educational/ recreational youth and community interventions
36EldersYoungerWannabeesReluctant GangstersSafer Neighbourhoods TeamPOLICETargeted ProtectionSchool Operational TeamPOLICE intelligence-led PolicingWaltham Forest Multi-Agency Gang Strategy Team EnforcementPolice, Probation, YOTIntelligence and InformationPoliceSocial InterventionSocial Services, Youth Service, housingEducation, Training, WorkEducation, FE, connexionsMediationParents Against Violence, MediatorsParticipationSocial Cohesion WorkerWaltham Forest Gang ForumYoung PeopleParents/AdultsSenior ManagersProfessionalsFOUR LEVEL INTERVENTIONProject CoordinatorA Proposed Structure of a Comprehensive Gang Strategy for Waltham Forest