Crime Reduction - Helping to Reduce Crime in Your Area

Tackling Gangs: A Practical Guide

This guide sets out a range of key approaches to tackling violent street gangs used in the four Tackling Gangs Action Programme (TGAP) areas and other cities. It aims to support your local partnership in devising a gangs strategy, and then in understanding the range of tools available to deliver that strategy. Each section provides a number of possible interventions that your local area might consider adapting to your local circumstances.

Title: Tackling Gangs: A Practical Guide
Author: Home Office
Number of pages: 108
Date published: May 2008
Availability: Download full report PDF file PDF 2.3Mb LARGE FILE!

Who should read this guide?

This guide will be useful to all local partners, at both the strategic and operational levels, with a role in tackling violent street gangs, including:

  • anti-social behaviour teams
  • children and young people’s services including safeguarding teams
  • the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
  • housing services
  • the police
  • probation services
  • Youth Offending Teams (YOTs)
  • the voluntary and community sector.

There is also specific guidance available for schools, YOTs (both available in May 2008), parents and carers, the CPS (both available summer 2008) and the Probation and Prison Services (available autumn 2008).

How can this guide help?

This guide will showcase the range of approaches and opportunities that are available to your local partnership when tackling violent street gangs in your area. It will help you to:

  • identify an emerging gang problem
  • understand the nature of that problem
  • identify the broadest possible range of partners for delivery in your area
  • consider a range of options for tackling the problem (including prevention, targeted work with individual gang members, risk assessment, mediation and transformation, enforcement and community reassurance)
  • understand the legislation that can support you in tackling gangs
  • find more information about gangs.

The guide sets out the information in six steps:

  1. Understanding you partnership's gang problem
    - Identify whether there is a gang problem in your area
    - Map the unique nature of that problem
  2. Planning your partnership's response
    - Agree a multi-agency gangs strategy
    - Set up information-sharing arrangements
  3. Preventing gang membership
    - Target young people who are most at risk
    - Provide parents with information about how to spot potential gang involvement
  4. Devising exit strategies
    - Set up arrangements to manage the risk posed by gang members
    - Provide a range of interventions both for those within the criminal justice system and for those who engage voluntarily
  5. Targeting gang members
    - Work with a range of partners to target civil and criminal action against gang members 
  6. Reassuring your community
    - Develop a communications strategy that shows the public you are working to protect them

A note of caution

It is important to note, however, that this is not a definitive guide to what your local partnership should do It is instead the first step in gathering together examples of the activity that is being undertaken by local areas – much of which has not yet been fully evaluated.

In each case you are advised to analyse your local problem and consider which approaches might be appropriate to adapt for your area. What works in one area may not be directly transferable to another – your local partnership needs to understand the local context and adapt any approaches to that situation.

Please also be aware that the case studies selected for inclusion were chosen to cover the broadest range of possible interventions. To avoid duplication, we have highlighted only one example when cities have taken a similar approach.

Getting a copy

Download Tackling Gangs: A Practical Guide PDF file PDF 2.3Mb LARGE FILE!

Last update: Monday, June 02, 2008