196414 Network analysis of youth gangs in the east end of Glasgow: The implications of alliances and rivalries for violence prevention

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Will Linden, BSc (hons) MSc , Violence reduction unit, Strathclyde police, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, Glasgow, Scotland
Prof Peter D. Donnelly, MD MPH FRCP FFPH , Professor of Public Health Medicine, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, United Kingdom
Purpose:Through group network analysis, to add to our understanding of the impact that youth gangs have on the life choices and life chances of gang members and the wider communities in which they operate. To discuss the implications for violence prevention strategies. Background:Earliest examples of gang fighting in Glasgow can be traced back to the 1700s but the phenomena escalated in the 1840s following mass migration, rapid population expansion and the emergence of territorialism. Despite previous initiatives, youth gangs remain a considerable police and public health challenge. Knife crime is a significant cause of premature mortality and morbidity. Methodology :The analysis is drawn from police intelligence and crime data as well as primary research conducted with gang members and youth organisations. Application of the principles of criminal intelligence analysis when combined with anthropological study creates a picture of those involved in, or affected by, the activities of youth gangs.Results:Territorialism and gang membership is deeply ingrained in the east end of Glasgow and the feelings of belonging and camaraderie engendered have replaced traditional family bonds. The particular impact of territorialism is far reaching on both gang members and wider communities, making it difficult for agencies to provide services. Shifting patterns of gang alliances and rivalries complicate the picture further and contribute to our understanding of violence amongst these groups as being largely “recreational” in nature. The presentation will highlight how these challenges must be overcome if we are to improve the success of prevention strategies.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session attendees should be able to 1/ Describe the extent and nature of youth gangs in the east end of Glasgow. 2/ Articulate the importance of understanding the historical barriers impacting on current behaviour 3/ Consider the impact of group dynamics on designing intervention strategies.

Keywords: Violence Prevention, Network Analysis

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: experienced conference presenter VRU analyst coordinator who leads in this area of work
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.