Criminal activities have increased in the recent past within the hometown neighborhood. Residents have raised their concerns and fears in regard to the existence of gangs in this neighborhood who have made life within this area a living hell. According to Venkatesh (2) “the relationship between gangs and neighborhood residents is complex and residents may disapprove of the gang and their activities, particularly their violence and illegal activities.” In the past six months, complaints arising form the activities of this group of gangs have risen by fifty percent.
The most serious case that points directly at the activities of this gangs in the neighborhood and has prompted the need for an urgent solution to this problem involved the serious injuries sustained by a 13-year-old boy who was accosted by this gang on his way to school. We conducted live interviews with the residents of this community in order to come up with viable solutions that can be effectively applied in the search for appropriate recommendations. In addition to the above, we did a search on the history of criminal gangs to ascertain background information on the particular topic and come up with reasons behind the rise of such behaviors.
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Members’ of the community Concern
Our research revealed that the threat posed by this neighborhood gangs is indeed very true. The fundamental reasons behind the increase in gang-related activities within this neighborhood were revealed to be access to drugs, idleness and poor parenting responsibilities. While the community showed optimism in various options that were open to support young people from the influence of drugs, our research also revealed that there is need for a continuous monitoring and sustenance of such measures. In fact, our research was compatible with Venkatesh (2) because he also stated that activities of neighborhood gangs include “trafficking, extortion, and attempts to bribe tenants, security officers, and law enforcement officials; however, the [gang’s] leaders also monitored the behavior of strangers who entered the neighborhood by car and on foot”.
Interview with Residents in the Neighborhood
Maryanne has been a resident of this neighborhood for the past 23 years. Within the last 20 years, our research revealed that there were no gangs in the neighborhood and life was very peaceful. However, the past three years have been dominated by instances of improper behavior amongst the youth, mushrooming of illegal settlements in the neighborhood and increased cases of arrests. John who has also been a resident for the past five has noted a change in the lifestyle of the residents. In the past, anyone could move around at any time of the day and night but that is not possible anymore.
Conclusion and Recommendations
“Gangs most often appear in troubled neighborhoods; areas that are socially disorganized, characterized by inadequate social institutions, and whose residents are economically disadvantaged” (Alonso, 1;Nawojczyk, 1 andSpergel, 9). The problem may be escalated when residents also buy stolen properties and drugs from the gangs Short, 57; Sánchez-Jankowski, 19). Based on our research, it was revealed that the best strategies to solve this problem involved the creation of a social amenity where young people from the neighborhood would take part in sports and thus avoid idleness. In addition to the above, the social hall would a private wing for guidance and counseling on the dangers of drug consumption. Lastly, parents are encouraged to serve as role models for the young people and take the keen interest in the activities they are involved in. the best of such strategies will definitely transform the neighborhood into a peaceful, serene and crime free area where anyone can have the courage to live in.
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