There’s a new report out which states the bleeding obvious. The government will ignore it. From the Guardian:
By failing to understand this basic structure, the researchers say, police mistakenly target and sometimes harass individuals who, though gang members, are not breaking any law; the police also repeatedly follow, stop and search the gang members’ family, friends and classmates. This alienated both the gang members and their associates who might otherwise have helped police.
Among the six gangs in the research, not one was dedicated to dealing drugs. Members survived on “cafeteria-style earning”, mixing paid employment, benefits, living off friends or family, and opportunist crime, including selling cannabis and committing street robberies.
Although access to firearms was common in all six gangs, it was found that turf wars about drugs were not generally the cause of violence; it was far more likely to be triggered by disputes over friends, family and romantic relationships, often within the gangs rather than between them.
And a gang’s ethnic make-up tended simply to reflect its local area – black, white or mixed – even though the media and police overwhelmingly focus on black gangs.