Gang culture is becoming a serious problem among teenagers and not just in big cities or deprived areas. Teens in gangs face many issues and may be placed under intense pressure from other gang members to become involved in criminal activity. Rival gangs may incite acts of violence, leaving teenagers at risk of severe injury. Although it can be tempting to join a gang so that you feel protected and accepted by your peers, you will probably just increase the likelihood of harm coming your way. You will spend a lot of time on the streets and attract the attention of rival gang members, as well as expose yourself to the other dangers of being out at night.
Teen Crime Issues
Teenagers in gangs are often involved in crimes, such as vandalism and graffiti, but they can also become involved in more serious offenses, such as robbery and gun crime. In fact, it is common for teens in gangs to become involved with a bevy of criminal acts. If you get caught and charged, you could face problems getting a job in the future or even end up in jail. Your family will also be affected because it is very worrying for parents and caregivers when their child is in trouble with the law. People in rival gangs could also punish or harm your family members as an act of revenge for crimes that you have committed.
If gun crime takes place between rival gangs, innocent bystanders will be put at risk by stray bullets, and you or a friend could end up seriously injured or dead.
Younger gang members may experience pressure to shoplift and end up with a criminal record, and older gang members are more likely to get involved with violent acts and could be charged with grievous bodily harm, manslaughter or even murder.
Before joining a gang, you need to think carefully about whether or not you want to end up with a criminal record that will follow you through your adult years.
Teen Gang Prevention
Avoiding the temptation to join a gang will be easier if you can find something else to occupy your time. You could try to get involved with voluntary projects within your community, learn a new skill, take up a sport or look for youth activities in your local area.
Many schools and cities provide activities for young people, so you should be able to find something that interests you. Throwing yourself into music, sports or theater will help you to make friends with those with similar interests and keep you off the street, meaning that you can avoid becoming a gang statistic.
Parents are more likely to accept and like your friends, and allow you to spend time together in your home, if those friends aren’t involved with gangs. After meeting a few friends through youth activities, you are likely to find that they will introduce you to their friends and that you soon develop a network of people who you can spend time with.
Families can help teenagers to stay away from gangs by being supportive and keeping them entertained. Teens who are close with their families often feel better about themselves and are less likely to seek out the company of gangs. Teenagers who join gangs often have problems with their families and don’t feel loved or supported so it’s important to remember to give your teen that needed support.