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Prevention and youth crimeIs early intervention working?$
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Maggie Blyth and Enver Solomon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781847422637

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847422637.001.0001

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Intervening in gang-affected neighbourhoods

Intervening in gang-affected neighbourhoods

(p.20) (p.21) 2 Intervening in gang-affected neighbourhoods
Prevention and youth crime

John Pitts

Policy Press

Violent youth gangs are almost invariably located in economically distressed urban neighbourhoods. Many U.S. studies and recent experience in Europe and the United Kingdom indicate that poor housing, material poverty and the absence of primary sector employment contribute significantly to the presence of violent youth gangs. This suggests that neighbourhood-level interventions that endeavour to address both the problems afflicting these neighbourhoods and their broader socioeconomic and cultural determinants might serve to stem the flow of young people becoming involved in gang violence as victims and as perpetrators. In certain multiply disadvantaged urban neighbourhoods, children, young people and their families are at heightened risk of gang involvement and gang victimisation. Indeed, U.S. research suggests that the neighbourhood of residence may be the key factor in determining whether or not a young person becomes involved in youth crime and youth gangs. This chapter offers a sketch of some of the components of a medium- to long-term comprehensive intervention in gang-affected neighbourhoods. Such a strategy may involve family support, neighbourhood capacity building, educational interventions, youth and community provision and rehabilitation and resettlement.

Keywords:   United Kingdom, youth crime, youth gangs, poverty, gang violence, urban neighbourhoods, young people, interventions, family support, rehabilitation

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