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Thread: Children 'drawn into turf wars'
09-11-07, 06:42 AM #1
Children 'drawn into turf wars'
Children as young as six are being influenced by territorial feuds in Nottingham, according to an official report seen by the BBC.
Such disputes - in the Meadows, St Ann's and Radford - have been blamed for a number of murders in Nottingham.
The report found growing antagonism between teenagers, with many "brainwashed" into gang involvement.
It was commissioned by Nottingham Stands Together, a scheme launched after the death of Danielle Beccan, 14.
Danielle was murdered by two men from the Meadows who opened fire at random, motivated, their trial heard, by a "hatred" of people from St Ann's.
The report found "territorialism" was stigmatising Radford, the Meadows and St Ann's - which otherwise all have a strong community spirit.
Researchers also found many teenagers were being seduced and sometimes pressurised into joining informal local gangs or "crews", representing neighbourhoods or even streets.
The study discovered most young people were reluctant to get involved but saw it as unavoidable.
It also found some children, aged as young as six, were making negative comments about rival areas and by the age of 10 or 11 were being "groomed" to join gangs.
Drug dealers, who sometimes provided young people with guns, were cultivating the rivalry to exploit their illegal business, researchers found.
This resulted in people not involved in gangs being afraid to go to rival areas, which even included different shopping centres in the city.
The report said this lifestyle often continued until the people involved had children, got a job, or went to prison.
Officials from Nottingham's Crime and Drugs Partnership said they hoped it would start a public debate.
Chief Executive Alan Given said: "They don't necessarily like each other, but if you speak to the young people in there, or even the middle-aged people in there, they don't really know why.
"We need to try and help them to find ways to unpick that, to find out what it is, that makes them perhaps not get on with their own neighbours."
I have at one time or another worked all of the areas mentioned along with the city centre where they occasionally ignored the CCTV and members of the public to have their pathetic feuds.
The reason they hate each other is because they are pathetic and have nothing better to do, it's an irrational hatrid like racism or homophobia.
09-11-07, 12:21 PM #2
KIDS OF FIVE DRESS IN CITY GANG 'COLOURS'
11:00 - 11 September 2007
Children as young as five are aware of gang rivalries between different city estates and even dress in colours representing their area's "crew".
A ground-breaking study has named 11 gangs believed to be at the heart of rivalries between youngsters from St Ann's, Radford and The Meadows - known as the NG Triangle.
Researchers found gangs wear certain colours and members often have a tattoo of their postcode.
The Broadmarsh has become the territory of crews from The Meadows while the Victoria Centre is the domain of crews from St Ann's, the report said.
It is believed to be the first research of its kind in Britain and was commissioned by the Nottingham Crime and Drugs Partnership.
Entitled the NG Triangle, the study's findings will be debated at a conference that will include a speech by Britain's highest ranking police officer, Sir Ian Blair, later this month.
The Metropolitan Police Commissioner will talk about neighbourhood management and how lessons learnt in London can benefit Nottingham.
In the study, four researchers spent a year interviewing residents or former residents of St Ann's, Radford and The Meadows.
They were asked to describe the problems their communities faced and what might be behind rivalries between areas.
Among startling findings was that children as young as five or six were aware of the conflicts, knew the names of the gangs and dressed in a certain way.
One interviewee said: "It starts at school age, five upwards. Young people are pressurised into it from a young age."
Another said: "It starts younger than people imagine, about eight.
"In this area the older youths do what they call "scouting". They look for younger people they can groom from a young age to be a runner and to be part of their crew.
"They befriend them and give them a pound or two here and there."
The report does not offer solutions to resolving what it calls "territorialism" but cites a lack of parental control and activities for young people, unemployment, drug dealing and music as causes of the rivalries.
The murder of 14-year-old Danielle Beccan in 2004 is seen as an example of territorialism tipping over into violence.
It also cites a recent incident at a talent contest at the Albert Hall. An interviewee says violence erupted involving a crew from St Ann's after a group from Radford performed well. A performer was stabbed three times.
Alan Given, chief executive of the CDP, said they planned to speak to people in the community to work out how to ease the rivalries.
He said: "Young people are wearing colours to identify with a particular area. But if that creates conflict then it becomes very difficult.
He added: "Why don't people from St Ann's get on with people from The Meadows or Radford? When you look at the report the young people don't know why they don't get on either."
Nottingham Evening Post
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