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Breakthrough Britain: Dying to Belong

An In-depth Review of Street Gangs in Britain

Over the past decade British society has seen an increase in gang culture and its associated violence. In addition, the composition and nature of gang culture has shifted: gang members are getting younger, geographical territory is transcending drug territory and violence is increasingly chaotic.

The general increase in gang-related deaths of young people and in particular a number of high-profilemurders – for example those of 15 year-old BillyCoxwhowas shot dead in his own home in 2007 and 11 year-old Rhys Jones shot in the neck as he walked home from football practice in Liverpool in 2007 – have shocked society. Media coverage has, at times, been suggestive of an epidemic in gang-related youth violence.

This report analyses the true nature and scale of gang culture in Britain; who is involved and what they are involved in; how Britain has reached this point; and what society can do to tackle it.