The Hackney Community Partnership Plan 2016-2018 indicates that the core age of those involved in gangs in Hackney tends to be between 15 and 19 years, however there have been reports of children as young as 10 becoming involved. 10  The ages of the 150 violent gang members that the Integrated Gangs Unit is working with (see Section 10.8) are generally between 19 and 24 years. 11

In general, gang membership is predominately made up of boys and young men, with very few girls or young women involved. 12 While females are less likely than males to be gang members, they may have secondary roles in gangs, including carrying/hiding weapons and drugs, as well as performing sexual acts. 13  Sexual exploitation is not uncommon within a gang setting and it can be used as a tool by gang members, such as for retaliation against other gangs. 14

There is evidence to suggest that females are committing some of the violent crimes associated with gangs, however it is acknowledged that more research is needed in this area. 15 16

In general, the higher representation of gang members from Black/Black British groups is considered to reflect the over-representation of these communities in deprived areas. 17  Young Black men are also over-represented in the criminal justice system. 18

References

  1. Hackney Council, “Community Safety Partnership Plan 2016-2018,” London, 2016.
  2. Hackney Council, “Improving Outcomes for Young Black Men – Narrative theory of change: Background and Context,” 2016.
  3.  Centre for Social Justice Report, “Dying to Belong: An in-depth review of street gangs in Britain,” 2009.
  4. Centre for Social Justice Report, “Dying to Belong: An in-depth review of street gangs in Britain,” 2009.
  5. Centre for Social Justice, “Girls and Gangs,” 2014
  6. J. Pearce and J. Pitts, “Youth Gangs, Sexual Violence and Sexual Exploitation: a scoping exercise for The Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England,” The University of Bedfordshire, 2011
  7. Centre for Social Justice, “Girls and Gangs,” 2014
  8. Centre for Social Justice Report, “Dying to Belong: An in-depth review of street gangs in Britain,” 2009.
  9. D. Porteous, J. Adler and J. Davidson, “The Development of Specialist Support Services for Young Poeple who have Offended and who have also been Victims of Crime, Abuse and/or violence: Final Report,” Middlesex University, 2015.
  10. Hackney Council, “Community Safety Partnership Plan 2016-2018,” London, 2016.
  11. Hackney Council, “Improving Outcomes for Young Black Men – Narrative theory of change: Background and Context,” 2016.
  12.  Centre for Social Justice Report, “Dying to Belong: An in-depth review of street gangs in Britain,” 2009.
  13. Centre for Social Justice Report, “Dying to Belong: An in-depth review of street gangs in Britain,” 2009.
  14. Centre for Social Justice, “Girls and Gangs,” 2014
  15. J. Pearce and J. Pitts, “Youth Gangs, Sexual Violence and Sexual Exploitation: a scoping exercise for The Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England,” The University of Bedfordshire, 2011
  16. Centre for Social Justice, “Girls and Gangs,” 2014
  17. Centre for Social Justice Report, “Dying to Belong: An in-depth review of street gangs in Britain,” 2009.
  18. D. Porteous, J. Adler and J. Davidson, “The Development of Specialist Support Services for Young Poeple who have Offended and who have also been Victims of Crime, Abuse and/or violence: Final Report,” Middlesex University, 2015.