Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Gangs Attractive To Young Rebellious People

MEDIA RELEASE – Friday March 22

Gangs Attractive To Young Rebellious People Who Feel They Have Little Chance In Life

March 22, 2013

Gangs are extremely attractive to young rebellious people who feel they have little chance of gaining status through conventional means, says a University of Canterbury (UC) postgraduate whose book Patched hits the bookshelves around New Zealand today (Friday).

Patched, the history of gangs in New Zealand, has been written by UC postgraduate Dr Jarrod Gilbert. A launch for the book will be held on campus later today.

``Gangs will always endure but there is a tremendous amount of myth that surrounds gangs. They are analogous to sharks. Most people are scared as hell of them but very few will ever actually be harmed by them. Nevertheless, as we all know, they have perpetuated some horrifying crimes in this country,’’ Dr Gilbert said.

``Gangs tend to get on well with their immediate neighbours. But when gangs clash, there is always a threat that innocent people can be caught in the crossfire.

``Gangs are a major focus for police, but I argue that the police paint an extremely distorted view of the gangs. This is an extremely controversial finding, but the book allows me the room to take people through all of the evidence from which I've gained that view.

``Gangs are an inevitable outcome of communities that experience poverty and dysfunction. Therefore, if we are happy to accept those social and economic conditions then we must be prepared to accept gangs.’’

Gangs had changed considerably since the 1970s. The focus has turned, in the public mind at least, from issues of violence to issues of organised crime. Different types of gangs have also emerged, most notably LA style youth gangs.

Dr Gilbert said one reason that the public disorder and violence evident in the 1970s has largely ceased among patched gangs is because some members have turned toward profit driven crime. But a better explanation is that the membership has simply aged and men in their 50s do not behave in the same way as men in their 20s.

Dr Gilbert said gangs have no recourse to the criminal justice system. That is a choice they make. It's in their rules. What that means is that if somebody attacks a gang member, they don't go to the police and instead they sort it out themselves. That, of course, leads to ongoing retribution and, often, gang wars.

``Gangs are often violent institutions. Given that, studying them has inherent risks. I certainly was on the wrong side of a couple of fights, but that's simply the nature of the research. An occupational hazard, if you will.

``I was privileged enough to have the gangs open their doors to me in a way no other researcher ever has. It took a long time and it wasn't easy but the book reflects the access that I gained.

``Professor Greg Newbold was a brilliant supervisor in many ways. He knows the criminal code and was understanding when I was faced with extremely difficult ethical issues. His guidance was, in many instances, absolutely invaluable,’’ Dr Gilbert said.

Professor Greg Newbold is one of New Zealand’s leading criminologists.

``Jarrod’s book is the result of almost a decade of intensive research into gangs, which involved Jarrod spending years getting to know certain key gang members and eventually being accepted by the gangs concerned,’’ Professor Newbold said.

``Through his work, Jarrod has acquired a profound and encyclopaedic knowledge about gangs in this country. Nobody has a deeper or more comprehensive understanding of New Zealand gangs than he has.

``This book, written by the country’s foremost gang expert, will be of immense value to all who wish to understand gangs, where they come from, how they operate and the place they have in New Zealand society.’’

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: From Here And There

Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story
by Helene Wong.
This is the fascinating story of Helene Wong, born in 1949 in Taihape to Chinese parents: her mother, born soon after her parents migrated here, and her father, born in China but sent to relatives in Taihape at seven to get an education in English. More>>

Chiku: Hamilton Zoo's Baby Chimpanzee Named

Hamilton Zoo has named its three-month-old baby chimpanzee after a month-long public naming competition through the popular zoo’s website. The name chosen is Chiku, a Swahili name for girls meaning "talker" or "one who chatters". More>>

Game Over: Trans-Tasman Netball League To Discontinue

Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand have confirmed that the existing ANZ Championship format will discontinue after the current 2016 season, with both organisations to form national netball leagues in their respective countries. More>>

NZSO Review: Stephen Hough Is Perfection-Plus

He took risks, and leant into the music when required. But you also felt that every moment of his playing made sense in the wider picture of the piece. Playing alongside him, the NZSO were wonderful as ever, and their guest conductor, Gustavo Gimeno, coaxed from them a slightly darker, edgier sound than I’m used to hearing. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: King Lear At Circa

In order to celebrate it's 40th birthday, it is perhaps fitting that Circa Theatre should pick a production of 'King Lear,' since it's also somewhat fortuitously Shakespeare's 400th anniversary. If some of the more cerebral poetry is lost in Michael Hurst's streamlined, full throttle production, it's more than made up for by plenty of lascivious violence designed to entertain the groundlings. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Tauranga Books Festival

Escape to Tauranga for Queen’s Birthday weekend and an ideas and books-focused festival that includes performance, discussion, story-telling, workshops and an Italian-theme morning tea. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news