Is Gang Culture Still Rife?

Is Gang Culture Still Rife?

In August 2011, the shooting of North Londoner Mark Duggan sparked riots in cities around the UK, including Manchester.

City centre high street shops were destroyed, as people- predominantly youths- came from all over to loot and vandalise. Why did they want to cause such destruction on their own doorstep?

“It was mad, looking back, what was the point really though? I don’t think most people even knew what [the riots] was for, they was just getting on [the riots and looting].”

The youths I spoke to did not want to be named, still in fear of being arrested for or associated with the local incident.

So why exactly did they decide to riot?

“It was just an opportunity, a lot of the stuff that was taken would take people like us ages to save up for and buy. You don’t think about how you’re gonna sell it or whatever at the time.”

What did so many youths from different areas of Manchester all being in one place mean?

“It was weird seeing man from different areas all running in the same direction but because we’d rather run together and away from the police, there was no time for beef.”

A strange coalition between diverse postcodes emerged but it seems that hasn’t lasted. Whilst the streets of Manchester- in particular south Manchester- are most definitely quieter. In terms of gang, gun and knife crime there is still an undercurrent of tension.

One local youth I spoke to said:

“I’m not in to going after people, fighting and killing and all that but at the same time I still chill on the streets. If guys come to where I am trying something then I’m gonna run or stand my ground.
Depending on how many of us there are and what [weapons] they have.”

Whilst gang related crime involving young people may be fairly low, guns and their users are still marring the area’s reputation. High profile shootings such as that of the Indian student, Anuj Bidve, in Salford
in December 2011.

One hope is that youngsters will see the error of their older peers and move away from gang crime in their local communities.  Shocking incidents like the shootings of PC’s Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone in Droylsden last year,
continue to provide a terrible example to young people.

Gang crime- be it organised, drugs, weapons or turf- is still going on. We can only hope that 2013 brings Manchester closer
to complete peace and unity.

TNT News Siobhan White

Photo Credit: TIFF Trailers

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