British gang gun violence overstated

Published: July 31, 2009 at 1:55 AM

gunsbritsLONDON, July 31 (UPI) — The conventional wisdom that gangs are at the root of gun crime in Britain is overstated and gangs are not involved in most illegal shootings, researchers said.

Working on separate research projects, researchers Simon Hallsworth and Dr. Daniel Silverstone independently concluded that the importance of gangs was vastly exaggerated.

The Home Office conducted 80 structured interviews with young people involved with weapons. To find their subjects, the researchers traveled to several cities with high levels of gun crime and visited penal establishments and youth offending teams, as well as the streets themselves.

One of the most striking findings was the sheer level of violence that gun users had experienced. Of the 80 interviewees, 40 had previously been threatened with guns, 29 had been shot at and eight had been shot.

In addition, 28 had been stabbed, 17 injured with other weapons, 34 had been robbed and three had been kidnapped. Twenty-six reported friends or family members shot and injured and another 26 reported friends or family shot dead.

The researchers found that gun users could be split into two groups — some were experienced professional criminals who used weapons to protect their “business interests,” and the second group were younger, vulnerable and disorganized, and their use of illegal guns was far less rational or predictable.

The findings were published in a special issue of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

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3 Comments for “British gang gun violence overstated”

  1. That’s precisely what it sounded like to me as well. Using the fresh BATFE fiasco implicating the WE M4 Gas Blowbacks, this is only much more bad press for Airsoft.

  2. […] British gang gun violence overstated Published: July 31, 2009 at 1:55 AM LONDON, July 31… […]

  3. Brit

    It depends what you clblank as a gang I guess. The government are trying to downplay the problem by saying that “experienced professional criminals who used weapons to protect their business interests” aren’t gangs and people who are “younger, vulnerable and disorganized” aren’t gangs- so basically if they are organised and professional they aren’t a gang and if they are young and disorganised they aren’t a gang? What is a gang then???

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