Gangs in the Community
Gangs are a serious threat to the communities in which they operate, as the security of the people in such areas is often compromised by the presence of gangs. Businesses are also at risk since these gangs may be extorting them. However, it is not only the economic impact that makes gangs a serious threat, but also the social disturbance that is brought by their presence. The reasons for people joining gangs differ from one person to the other, but usually, many people join gangs with a common purpose. As a result, it is important for communities to work in partnership with law enforcement authorities in order to reduce the impact of gangs in the society. Clearly, people are afraid of gangs, especially when they are known to commit bodily harm. How gangs affect the community
Businesses provide employment to the people in a given community. Most entrepreneurs operate in areas that are safe for their establishments as well as their employees. When there is increased insecurity, most people prefer not relocate from such areas for fear of losing their property. As such, gangs are a major source of insecurity for a business as they scare away customers and instil fear in business people. In areas that gangs prowl, there are fewer customers and such businesses are forced to close early to avoid vandalism. The people in such a community suffer economically, as it is becomes either expensive or impossible to run a business in such an area. It is worth noting that some gangs also extort business people, hence endangering their businesses and pushing them away from a given location. In this sense, the economy of a given area suffers greatly. People are also forced to pay higher prices for products. When gangs begin extortion schemes, it becomes necessary for business owners to hike prices in order to cater for the increased expenses. People living in such areas live in fear of being attacked and businesses that are being extorted, as already noted, might opt to move out. Investors find such areas unattractive, making property in such areas to lose value. Weapons used by the gangs may cause serious injuries, including death, hence forcing families to live a difficult life especially if the victim was the breadwinner (Howell 2). The medical costs associated with gang violence have also been on the rise and they disrupt the normal lives of the victims. More significantly, people may be unable to recover from the harm caused by the gangs, hence making their life more difficult. Society, in general, suffers from increased cost of basic commodities and increased expenditure on anti-gang programs. Social Life
The presence of gangs in a community increases the chances of drug availability, causing the population to suffer through increased drug trafficking and abuse. The effects of drugs range from addiction, hallucination, delinquency and increased crime, all of which affect the physical and mental health of users in the community. Gangs are, therefore, detrimental in relation to the upholding of morals, and children, some of whom may engage in gang activities, risk losing their lives or becoming a menace to society. Since gang activities can spread even to schools, the community is at risk of raising poor performing children who, in the end, may become a serious problem when they cannot find employment. Why People Join Gangs
The presence of other gangs in an area can prompt people to join a rival gang for protection. Since gangs protect their kin, it becomes easier for a person to be protected from the intents of rival gangs. Most people in gangs may have crossed paths with members of a rival gang, and they believe the only way to protect themselves is by joining another gang. In addition, a person may join a gang in order to launch an attack on a gang that had wronged him or her. The gang, in this case, is perceived as a security apparatus by the members. Pressure
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Cited: Duffy, Maureen P and Scott Edward Gillig. Teen gangs: a global view. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004.
Howell, James C. "The Impact of Gangs on Communities." NYGC Bulletin 2 (2006): 1-9.
Regoli, Robert M, John Hewitt and Matt DeLisi. Delinquency in Society: The Essentials. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011.
Stark, Evan. Everything You Need to Know About Street Gangs. New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2001.
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