European Street Gangs and Urban Violence

Irwin-Rogers, K.; Decker, S.; Rostami, A.; Stephenson, S. and Van Hellemont, E. (2019). European Street Gangs and Urban Violence. In: Vojnovic, I.; Pearson, A.; Asiki, G.; DeVerteuil, G. and Adriana, A. eds. Handbook of Global Urban Health. The Metropolis and Modern Life. New York: Routledge, pp. 484–508.



This chapter provides readers with an insight into gang-related violence, and responses to gang-related violence, across a number of major European cities. To this end, it brings together city-specific sections written by subject experts who have resided and conducted research in four European countries: the UK, Belgium, Russia and Sweden. Each section of the chapter follows a similar structure: first, we provide contextual information about gangs in each city; second, we discuss data on gang member demographics; third, we consider the nature and scale of gang-related urban violence; and fourth, we outline some of the main policy responses, including public health approaches, intended to reduce gang violence. By providing an in-depth examination of the selected cities, the chapter provides some indication of the diversity of gangs and gang-related violence across Europe, while also indicating important areas of convergence. In addition, it performs the useful function of flagging areas where evidence is currently lacking and in need of better data-recording practices and further research.

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