Gangs and young people Why young people join gangs

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Gangs and young people

How you can you as youth worker help keep children and young people safe using your youth club/centre

As a youth worker we may have vital information which may help young people to be aware of the danger of being in a gang. If for any reason you suspect that some members of your youth club may be involved or thinking about joining a gang. I know from first hand experienced of working with young people involved in gangs, that this can be a difficult situation you will be in as to what to do, how to protect them. Nonetheless we know that young people need support and help.

“Children and young people who are involved with, or maybe on the edges of, gangs might be victims of violence or they might be pressured into doing things like stealing or carrying drugs or weapons. They might be abused, exploited or put into dangerous situations.”

“For lots of young people, being part of a gang makes them feel part of a family so they might not want to leave. Even if they do, leaving or attempting to leave can be a really scary idea. They might be frightened about what will happen to them, their friends or their family if they leave.”

Watch: how to protect young people involved in gangs

Why young people join gangs

“There are lots of reasons why young people feel the pressure to join gangs. They might be bored and looking for excitement or feel attracted to the status and power it can give them. They might join due to peer pressure, money or family problems. Gang membership can also make a child feel protected and that they belong.”

Getting help

How can you as a youth worker help your young person involved in a gang?

Support groups and specialist agencies such as St Giles Trust, Safer London Foundation, and One Big Community can help. they can be Contacted by clicking on the link provided  helpline for details of organisations near you.

Call ChildLine

Children can contact ChildLine, free 24/7 confidential helpline for children, on 0800 1111 for support and advice.

Call NSPCC helpline

For more advice about how to help, which is specific to your child’s situation, you can get in touch with  helpline.

Question: Why do you think young people join a gang? share your thoughts so others may benefit from it

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