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The Effect of Gangs in the Community

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Criminology
Wordcount: 3798 words Published: 26th Jul 2018

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“How to define a gang has always been a matter of controversy. The relationship of the gang to its local community and the salience of race have been at the heart of academic and popular differences on the nature of gangs.”, according to the Gang Research.

In the current essay I would like to describe the effects of gangs in the community and the effects of community policing. These two issues are important and cause many problems in society. Nowadays, the effect of gangs in community is negative and annoys people. People are disturbed by the groups of people trying to harm the society. Modern society faces many different problems, including terrorism and gangsters. People unite and form groups of particular “interests”, forming the gang. Gang is a group of people engaged in banditry. Gangsters – are the people in the criminal law that have committed one of the most dangerous crimes against the foundations of public administration and society, as described in Gangs and their effect on community. Criminal laws of various states do not always provide special offense “thuggery”, but many countries are close to this type of crime compounds (burglary, various kinds of violent acts, etc.). 

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Banditry actions

Often there are referred to banditry actions of the various armed rebel groups and wars. For example, the used phrases like “Chechen bandits”, “gang Makhno”, etc. Use of the term among the “bandits” against members of such groups was intended to provide them common criminals rather than political opponents. It is also necessary to note that participants in such anti-government groups may, together with political objectives and goals pursue personal enrichment (through robberies, ransom for the hostages, etc.), as stated in Gang research.

The gang often refers to “organized street gangs” controlling a territory or a “hood” (neighborhood). Street gangs are probably the most famous Bloods, MS-13, and Crips from South Central Los Angeles. Members of street gangs are black with large majorities, followed by Latinos and Slavs. They come from poor neighborhoods in North America and Central America. Bloods and Crips have been the subject of many Hollywood movies depicting the life of gangster in Los Angeles. Colors, with Dennis Hopper and Sean Penn are one of the first of its kind. Other fraternities such as motorcycle clubs like the Hells Angels and the criminal organizations (Sicilian Mafia, Chinese triads and Japanese yakuza) are often referred to as gangs. The first gangs emerged in Los Angeles in the black ghettos and then in other major cities like New York and Chicago, but Toronto and Montreal in Canada, to name a few. Community negatively perceives the existence of the gangs and tries to avoid them. The majority think that this problem has to be more effectively controlled by the government, as stated in Gangs and their effect on community.

Environment and gang activity

Quite often in environments suffering socially and economically provide gang members (mostly youth) a sense of belonging and protection against other gangs. Through this ritual, the violent practices of dress codes, a code of “honor” … Often where the prospects of gainful employment are low, gangs provide illegal means of earning a living. Such as trafficking in narcotics or stolen property, extortion, assault …They are very diverse and different, and sometimes become targets of choice for some ideological and extreme beliefs, which influence and motivate them, as described in Gang research. “Unfortunately, innocent people can get caught in the crosshairs, so all those who live in the community where a gang is present are in greater danger as a result of the affect of the gang on their society.”, according to the Gang Research.

Gangs in New York

In the U.S., the term “gang” used for a street gang, back in the 1860s formed such criminal organizations, such as the Irish Boodles in New York City. Pushed by the waves of immigration increased the formation of ethnically based street gangs. In these “Big Five” were called classic bands, the Irishmen organized in the Whyos, Hudson Dusters, or Gophers, Italians in the Five Points Gang and Eastern European Jews in the Eastman Gang. After 1900, there were essentially only the Eastman and Five Points left, as described in Gangs in America. 

Almost all of these Big Five were from politicians of the Tammany Hall secured; gangs such as the Eastman Gang and the Whyos offered illegal services for a price list. However, the Mafia and the Camorra in New York City had come. About the Black Hand Gang, the Unione Sicilian was undermined. The over-controlled Italian voices were certainly of interest of Tammany Hall, as stated in Gang research. Funded by the alcohol prohibition were formed out of the five clans today known as La Cosa Nostra American Mafia, also called the Five Families. Accordingly, it came to the dissolution of traditional street gangs of New York City to 1920. “While this entry focuses gangs in the United States, gangs are a recognized feature of urban life in areas as diverse as Johannesburg, Rio de Janiero, Paris, and Hong Kong.”, according to the official data.

Gangs in Los Angeles

A hotbed of banditry in the U.S., the city of Los Angeles, California. In particular, the district South Los Angeles is the most dangerous region of town. Here you fight the Bloods and Crips, the 38th Street Gang, the 18th Street Gang, the Mara Salvatrucha, the mutually Florencia 13 and other gangs. In addition, there are always conflicts between African Americans and Latinos, as stated in Gangs in America. All these gangs lay claim to a particular territory and have their own distinctive mark, such as colors, clothing, tattoos, hand signs and graffiti. Historically, returns the current path from Los Angeles to increasing conflicts between blacks and whites in the course of the 1940s. At that time, many blacks moved to Los Angeles, but could find no ghettos in the then appropriate accommodation. The attempt from the break ghetto and to purchase in other parts of the city housing, put the local white residents against strong segregation efforts, ranging in some cases up to the inclusion of racial restrictions in the land book and much of the city for non-whites out of reach made. Only in the south and southwest, where the residential areas of the lower middle class were white, blacks still could not find housing, but also here met with the resistance, as stated in Effects of Gangs.

Mid to late 1940s was against this background, black residents from the borders of the Central Avenue-ghettos terrorized by gangs of white youths as the Spookhunters. In return, were founded the first black gangs like the businessmen, Slauson or flips, which are often offered the only protection against racist attacks, but also constitute a cultural or social home, as described in Gang research.

Mark Twain on Gangs

In his 1884 classic Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain described the elaborate oath that the imaginative Tom Sawyer creates for members of his potential gang. “Now we’ll start this band of robbers and call it Tom Sawyer’s Gang. Everybody that wants to join has got to take an oath, and write his name in blood.”, as stated in the Chapter 2. In Huckleberry Finn. This shows the simple way of the creation of a gang, and the consequences can be much more complicated for both- the society and members of the gang. Today’s members of the gang are criminals and they can not be distinguished in their actions from the other criminals.

Community relation to Gangs

Some people believe that the gangs have become a permanent feature of the urban landscape around the world, as described in Gang Research. Community strives to do anything possible to prevent gang crimes, to make the life safes and to create foundations that will be able to protect them. In the modern world cooperation and communication on the topic of gangs in extremely important, as today the number of crimes is very high and people feel less safe each day. Without the cooperation of the community and police it will be very difficult to protect the families and to live in safety.

As a fact, “an unsupervised lower-class peer group, with leadership, structure, and adherence to a local territory” is formed in the society and make the living even more difficult and unforeseen, as described in Addressing Community Gang Problems. People are disturbed and nervous because of the gangs present in the cities, as these local groups are capable to do anything from the theft to murder. Scary stories about them and no clear changes of the government considering the gangs have not changes the situation for the better.

The Effects of Community Policing

The concept of community police officers (called Community Policing and Neighborhood Policing) is based on the assumption that an effective fight against crime and antisocial behavior requires close cooperation between the Police and members of the community.  “Community Policing is both a philosophy and an organizational strategy that allows police and community residents to work closely together in new ways to solve the problems of crime, fear of crime, physical and social disorders, and neighborhood decay.”, as stated in The Effects of Community Policing and Technology on Index Crime Clearance Rates.

Assumptions concept. The concept of community police patrols involves increasing the number of pedestrians Police officers (and other similar services), they should be the members of the communities in which they work. Building mutual trust and faith in the rule of law continues in through the establishment of direct contacts with the people-police should be open to citizens by showing patience, understanding and willingness to help, even if you entrusted to the problems have no direct connection with the violation of the law. Conceptually, the police officer has to be more a sort of “friend” than a civil servant and representative government. You can then count on the active participation of community members in efforts to combat crime. 

The man goals of the community policing are: to bring community resources together to solve problems, decrease fear of crime, to listen to and address citizen concerns, to increase public confidence in the Police Department, to impact specific crime problems, and educate the public about its Police Department. “Social scientists have differed on whether or not gangs necessarily exhibit criminal and delinquent activity. Some hold that gangs are fundamentally the product of delinquent subcultures; others believe gangs are a response to social disorganization. The United States’ National Youth Gang Center reports there are about 25,000 gangs in the United States, with nearly three quarters of a million members.”, according to the Gang Research.

In the past, the view prevailed that the task of the Police is merely react-in a manner provided by law-the fact of the crime (the repressive function). There was allowed only interference with pathology. Today, there are beliefs that the role of police is not only to ensure safety, but also to concern for the quality of community life. The first step should be here to determine the needs (problems) given community (for example, homelessness, importunate begging, alcohol abuse), and then preparing and implementing programs tailored to these specific needs. It is desirable here also active as organizing talks drugs or encouraging young people to play sports.

Community Policing (the police public service), and neighborhood policing (neighborhood) is a strategy and philosophy of policing based on the belief that the cooperation and support of the public can contribute to the control of crime. The public can help identify what is suspicious and police have focused on existing problems. The community ahs to become involved in the life of humanity, as there can be presented many crimes with the help of cooperation.


When using the strategy of community policing officers and police departments, they are regarded as part of the public. Cities and countries that have adopted this philosophy, directed more than traditional police departments to the concept of policing as a public service. Community policing is usually more in the emphasis on walking patrol activity than that the police checked the place and also visited them in cars. The basic idea is to build confidence and a sense of reciprocity between the police and the public. This approach requires that the police were helpful, impartial and sensitive to the interests and concerns of others, and there is also known as a new form of police work. Although the police disagrees with the complainant (the developer), they should try to understand this problem. The police would have to show empathy and participation, but not to be enrolled in the automatic way. The police must also improve their planning, problem solving, organization, interpersonal communication, and most importantly – in critical thinking, as described in Gangs, Gang membership, and comprehensive strategies. 

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A change in its police service to the public is how the police can identify what is truly high-quality service and how it subsequently provided to the public. In the past, police always respond only to specific problems, and do so quite peculiar way and did not pay almost no attention to the proactive approach. For this, the work of the police today is truly effective, and there is the need to: take seriously the needs of the public, take into account the needs of police actions and programs, which are then focused on the public. It is in this sense that the police are becoming more receptive to public needs and can also better understand how their work has an impact on society. It is said that this philosophy is created by Tom Potter, former police chief in Portland, Oregon, when a young policeman patrolling activities are performed. Other legends were Sir Robert Peel, who came up with nine principles, on whom stands a modern police work.

Community policing

Community policing- are the social attitudes in a system of relationships between people, the rules of mutual behavior and dormitories, the applicable laws, customs and traditions, and moral norms. Public order is a whole set of systems of social relations, which develops as a result of social norms: law, morality, norms of public organizations, non-legal norms of customs, traditions and rituals.

Public order and public safety are the main objects of protection in the work of the interior. The socio-legal categories, covering specific sphere of social relations, are characterized by a number of features that define the content of the activities of internal affairs for the protection (security) of these relations, as described in The Effects of Community Policing and Technology on Index Crime Clearance Rates. 

First, public order and safety apply to all citizens without exception, and from birth until death. Second, public order and public security tend to focus on elementary actions, deeds and rules of human behavior. They occur openly and publicly, and usually they are understood by others. Third, public order and safety are governed by the law as well as other social and technical norms (morality, customs, traditions, and even fashion). Fourth, in the sphere of public order and safety annually there are made a huge number of offenses, the tens of millions. And all offenders, and that much of the population, one way or another can be subjected to the forced exposure of the police. Fifth, in the field of public order and safety there is circulation of objects and subjects of high risk: the acquisition, storage, use, transportation and civil service firearms, explosive and highly toxic substances, radioactive isotopes, etc. Therefore, licensing and permitting activities of the Interior exercising state supervision and control in this area, allows preventing and suppressing the violation of the rules and thereby minimizing the occurrence of serious implications, as a rule, in violation of relevant rules, standards and requirements. Sixth, with the sphere in question that is closely connected with such dangerous anti-social phenomena as drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, vagrancy and begging. That is why, in some cities there are special units, the so-called morality police. Seventh, in the sphere of public order and public safety are regularly held various mass public events with a large concentration of people in different rooms or in a limited area, which often poses a threat to life and health, the normal functioning of organizations. These include political (rallies, marches, demonstrations), economic (picketing, hunger strikes), cultural and entertainment (festivals, concerts, days, cities), sports (Olympics, football and hockey competitions), religious and other public events. Their implementation requires a great deal of organizational work of the interior, bringing order to ensure order and security of considerable forces and means of the police and interior troops.

Community policing – is described as the state of social relations, which enforced the law and other legal rules, one of the components of the social order. This is the state of the actual settlement of social relationships, qualitative expression of the rule of law. In addition to compliance with the law enforcement in society, it is ensured by the customs, norms and morals, the internal rules of organization, etc. The rule of law is characterized by a level of legality in the state and the degree of realization of the rights and freedoms of citizens, as well as their performance of public authorities and duties conferred by law, as stated in The Effects of Community Policing and Technology on Index Crime Clearance Rates. 

Solving the crimes in the local areas has always been challenging. “When community policing is practiced in conjunction with some investigation variables, it has significant mixed (positive and negative) interaction effects on murder and robbery clearance rates.”, as described in The Effects of Community Policing and Technology on Index Crime Clearance Rates. Nowadays, technology has positive effects in investigation and in doing the corresponding research.  Positive interaction effect with community policing on different issues is beneficial for the society. Proper management of the situation and involvement of people who care about their safety is helping a lot, when the case is connected with the gangs. There is created a framework and the detection of crimes becomes more real and much quicker, and as well, this helsp to pertain to terrorism and national security

Structure of Community policing

Structure of the Community policing are the legal organization of society (laws and legitimize their government agencies and non-state actors and citizens); relationship and communication in society; and certain (normative) order of these relationships and bonds (clear definition of the status of members of their subjective rights and legal duties, powers). 

Community policing can be classified according to the territorial coverage (the rule of law in the state, city, etc.), as well as branches of law and legal coverage (constitutional, administrative, financial, etc.), according to U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented policing Services. 

Classifications of the community policing:

Symptoms: to allocate the following signs of enforcement: Certainty. Community policing is based on specific formal-legal regulations. System: community policing – is a system of relations based on a single essence of law, the prevailing form of ownership, the system of economic relations and provides a unified force of state power. Organization: community policing occurs when there are organizing activities of the state, its bodies.

State warranty: the existing rule of law is guaranteed by the state, protects them from violations. Stability: arising under state law and ensures the rule of law is quite stable.

Unity: based on common political and legal principles that will ensure the unity of the state and the rule of law, order for the whole country. All these components are equally guaranteed by the state, any of the violations are considered violations and repressed by state coercion.

It is obvious that the gangs affect the community in different ways, as it depends on where a person lives. According to the survey done by the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, the specific results of a 2008 show that the gangs in the community cause: rise in violent crime and drug related arrests and rise in robbery and homicide cases, as described in Effects of Gangs. Considering these facts, there is a considering influence from the gangs on community, especially there is a negative effect, which leads to the increased crime and also to the higher risk for the people to get hurt. The gangs make people feel danger and insecurity in the community, as no one can protect people from the gangs if the measures are not taken.


All in all, it can be said that there are many issues that disturb the society and there is a considerable influence from the gangs. The effects of gangs in the community and the effects of community policing take place in the society, but there have to be taken more proper measures to ensure safety and living in comfort for the people. As a fact, the best way is to eliminate the groups of people who harm the society. Consequently, there has to be tighter cooperation between the community and police, there has to be developed the new of communication, etc. There have to be present the newest technologies that will allow police to take proper actions and to know everything in advance. Nowadays, the importance of the national security has become one of the main issues, as different circumstances lead people to committing different crimes, either in groups or individually. This problem has to be revised at the state level and its importance does not have to be underestimated under any circumstances.


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