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 Startling campaign outlines the dangers of gang culture

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Posts : 190
Join date : 2009-05-07
Age : 36
Location : Scotland

PostSubject: Startling campaign outlines the dangers of gang culture   Sun 30 Aug 2009, 11:30 am

Startling campaign outlines the dangers of gang culture

Written by Martyn McLaughlin, Published on the 9th of March 2009

Source (The Scotsman) :

YOUNG people are being warned of the dangers of falling into street gangs with a dramatic new campaign launched by Scotland's largest police force.

Chalk outlines of a body with a knife lying next to it will be drawn on some of the most troubled streets in Glasgow and areas surrounding the city in an attempt to quell youth disorder.

Strathclyde Police has insisted the hard-hitting initiative is not designed to "scare" law abiding citizens, but hopes it will remind gang members of the "brutal consequences" of their actions, not least the fact they are putting their own lives in jeopardy.

The campaign forms part of an ongoing initiative by the force which has so far seen hundreds of thousands of people stopped and searched, with thousands of bladed weapons confiscated.

The graphic chalk outlines will appear over the next two months in 15 areas marred by violence and anti-social behaviour.

Each hotspot has been selected through analysis of recorded crimes and problem profiles.

The force estimates that more than 170 gangs are operational across the region. About 100 groups are based in Glasgow itself with an estimated 3,000 members.

Since the launch of the Campaign Against Violence last March, Strathclyde Police's Violence Reduction Task Force has made more than 1,000 arrests, carried out 212,466 stop-and-searches and taken 2,752 weapons – including machetes, daggers and axes – off the streets.

Assistant Chief Constable Campbell Corrigan said: "It's quite simple. If you choose to take part in gang related violence, chances are we'll find you, so be prepared to pay the consequences.

"Not only do we want to reduce gang activity, a big part of this campaign is diverting young people away from the gang environment and preventing crime before it happens.

"In case anybody doesn't know, the consequences are extremely serious, and range from being hospitalised with life-threatening injuries to terms in prison. Is a gang fight really worth it?"

The outlines will also appear in Paisley, Clydebank, and Saltcoats.

Graphic images will also be posted on 300 buses travelling on all routes across the Strathclyde Police area and in bus shelters in an attempt to ram the message home.

Increased high-visibility patrols will be rolled out, while plain clothes officers will be executing outstanding warrants, carrying out stop and searches targeting those who habitually carry weapons, enforcing bail and curfew conditions, and visiting licensed premises to ensure the law is being upheld.

Officers will also visit suspected gang members and meeting places, and monitor social networking websites such as Facebook and Bebo for intelligence.

The Violence Reduction Unit is also working with Scotland's seven other police forces in an attempt to draw a detailed map of the numbers of gangs operational in the country and where they are active.
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