Are Police Approaches To Reduce Gun Crime Criminology Essay

In this essay I will research the attacks adopted by the constabulary to undertake gun offense affecting immature people. I will demo how the rise in gun offense is related to the outgrowth of a “ gun civilization ” and will detect why immature people feel it is necessary to transport a piece. These issues must foremost be understood in order to measure the Governments Tackling Gangs Action Programme and the effects it had both nationally and locally. I will see attacks adopted in two metropoliss one which saw a lessening in pieces offenses, Manchester and one which experienced an addition, Birmingham. I will show that pieces offenses can non be tackled through statute law entirely but necessitate a multi-agency attack turn toing the societal and economic issues.

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Although gun offense merely represents 0.4 % of all recorded offenses ( Hales et al, 2006 p.vii ) events affecting pieces ne’er fail to catch the headlines. Surveies report that higher degrees of gun ownership consequence in higher degrees of violent offense ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.13 ) . ‘Recent incidents of young person force have been closely linked with “ packs ” ‘ ( Brand & A ; Ollerearnshaw, 2006 p6 ) and it has been argued that ‘instances of violent piquing with pieces… are inextricably linked to gang civilization ‘ ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.28 ) . ‘As the figure of young persons involved in packs has grown so has the prevalence of arms and pieces on the streets ‘ ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.27 ) . In 2002 the ‘National Criminal Intelligence Service reported an addition in gun ownership amongst packs ‘ and one survey inside informations that 60 % of pack members reported possessing pieces ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.27 ) . Bennet and Holloway ( 2004 ) have found that ‘gang members… ( are ) … more to a great extent involved in ownership of arms ‘ ( p317 ) and Marshall et Al ( 2005 ) have besides reported that ‘gang members committed more offense than non-gang members… ( and ) are more likely to transport arms ‘ ( cited in Bullock and Tilley, 2008 p.37 ) . The Home Office has antecedently found that the ‘peak age for transporting a gun was 16 to 17 ‘ ( Wilson et al 2006 cited in Squires, 2008p.23 ) and the Trident Unit of the Metropolitan Police has observed that the ‘peak age for both piquing and exploitation being 19 old ages ‘ ( Squires et al, 2008 p.34 ) . Although these figures do non fit precisely, I would suggest that some allowance must be made for vicinity differences and together these make supply grounds that there is a firearms issue amongst the young person.

It is apparent that there is a gang civilization emerging but why do young persons experience it is necessary to transport pieces?

‘More than half of immature wrongdoers have had a gun or knife used against them or been threatened with a gun or knife in the past 12 months ‘ ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.5 ) . This information and the fact that ‘more than half of immature wrongdoers feel that the constabulary are unable to protect them from violent offense ‘ ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.5 ) has caused immature people to intentionally fall in condemnable packs for personal protection. They want to be armed because ‘they believe that others are ‘ ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.6 ) . Pitts introduced the construct of the “ loath mobster ” used to depict a young person life in the district of a pack who joins the pack because of the ‘risks of injury to themselves or their household if they did non ; … to acquire entree to education/recreational resources… ; to counterbalance for deficiency of employment or instruction chances ‘ ( cited in Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.29 ) . These young persons were efficaciously forced into fall ining the pack and do non go forth because this would give rise to dangers. Bing a member of the pack was ‘preferable to being victimised by it. Many immature people involved in “ pack activity ” citation protection, “ safety in Numberss ” , as a ground for making so ‘ ( Squires et al, 2008 p.27 ) . ‘Many immature people come to see offense and force as a believable and even necessary “ calling ” . Some aspire to go involved, others are drawn, reluctantly, into illegality ‘ ( Squires et al, 2008 p.27 ) . ‘Social force per unit areas to achieve a conspicuously material life style in the context of economic adversity are reconciled by some through engagement in the condemnable economic system ‘ ( Hales et al, 2006 p.xiii ) . In some instances this condemnable life style is ‘more moneymaking… than the… legitimate labor market ‘ ( Hales et al, 2006 p.xiv ) .

In add-on to personal protection and condemnable endeavor, the ‘ ” public presentation ” of force in populace may be important to immature people ‘s street credibleness ‘ ( Squires et al, 2008 p.27 ) . The usage of guns become related to imagination and machismo. They become a symbolically powerful method of presentation ‘ ( Firmin et al 2007p.28 ) . Ongoing differences and struggle, peculiarly related to disrespect or challenges to social-status, may be used ‘as a manner of achieving societal standing ‘ ( Hales et al, 2006 p.82 ) . Hales et Al. ( 2006 ) besides found younger wrongdoers would transport pieces to tie in themselves with older, more serious felons ( Hales et al, 2006 p.99 ) . ‘As packs become influential… they attract ‘wannabe mobster ‘ … immature work forces lament to get the successful furnishings of their equals ‘ ( Squires et al, 2008 p.25 ) . The recent outgrowth of the pack civilization has meant that instead than being used by experient professional felons, guns are now used by gang members in order to perpetrate condemnable offenses, used in protection and besides as a agency of raising their position in society.

The constabulary have historically had trouble clamping down on the illegal gun markets ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.14 ) . Modern statute law appeared in the 1950 ‘s and ’60 ‘s when ‘gun offense rose at an unprecedented rate ‘ alongside the figure of pieces human deaths ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.16 ) . A 1973 green paper ‘The control of Firearms in Great Britain ‘ proposed that the best manner to cut down handiness of guns to felons is for society to do it hard to get pieces. Unfortunately no statute law followed and after 1982, statute law seemed to be driven by events instead than being proactive. The Firearms ( Amendment ) Act 1988 was introduced after the Hungerford violent disorder and the Firearms Act 1991 was brought in after the Dunblane Massacre ( Squires cited in ballistic:17 ) . Despite this statute law the figure of pieces related homicides continued to increase by 63 % from 1997 to 2002 ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.17 ) . In 2002 gun offense once more dominated the headlines when two misss were killed in the cross fire of a shoot out on ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.17 ) . The Government once more responded with more statute law puting commissariats in the Anti-Social Behaviour and Criminal Justice Acts 2003 including raising the minimal age for possessing air arms unsupervised and a compulsory five twelvemonth sentence for the illegal ownership of a forbidden fire arm ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.18 ) . However the constabulary ‘s attempts of implementing the statute law have frequently been hampered by the tribunals and the Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, in 2008, accused the bench of being ‘lenient on gun offense by overlooking compulsory five-year sentences ‘ ( Squires et Al, 2008p.35 ) .

Put merely the constabulary ‘s attack was catch those who carry guns, take their guns off and lock them up nevertheless ‘legislation is non sufficient to command this rush in young person offense ‘ ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.26 ) and ‘gun offense in Britain is excessively complicated… to be controlled by cut downing the figure of available guns ‘ ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.14 ) . Hales et Al ( 2006 ) argue that ‘increasingly punitory attacks may merely hold a fringy impact… where such persons feel that they may be killed it is imaginable that no sensible condemnable countenance would discourage them from transporting pieces ‘ ( Hales et al, 2006 p.95 ) . New attacks build upon this guess and suggest that gun offense can merely be tackled if the societal and psychological factors are addressed. It has been suggested that ‘the constabularies are merely 10-15 % of the solution to cut downing violent offense ‘ ( Dave Keller cited in Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.30 ) . Marshall et Al ( 2005 ) argue that there must be recognition of the ‘complexity of the issues involved ‘ ( cited in Bullock and Tilley, 2008 p.23 ) and the general position is that ‘more wide-ranging multi-disciplinary and locally trim attacks to condemnable justness are required ‘ ( Brand & A ; Ollerearnshaw, 2006 p9 ) .

In 2007 the Government established the Tackling Gangs Action Programme ( TGAP ) with the purpose of edifice on ‘enforcement work, community reassurance and 3rd sector bringing of support ‘ in vicinities where guns and packs had caused serious injury within Birmingham, Liverpool, London and Manchester.

As portion of the TGAP, Greater Manchester Police ( GMP ) worked alongside other bureaus to increase community dealingss, community assurance in the constabulary and finally tackle pack and gun offense through a mix of problem-oriented and intelligence led policing, developing and implementing intercession to forestall farther incidents instead than simply observing and penalizing culprits ( Bullcok and Tilley, 2008 p.37 ) . This undertaking was based on the Boston Gun Project which was ‘associated with a rapid diminution in the figure of human deaths caused by the usage of guns and knives ( Kennedy et al 1996 cited in Bullock and Tilley 2008 p.38 ) . In the Boston undertaking ‘workers communicated to the pack members which sorts of violent behaviors would non be tolerated… if gang members engaged in these, jurisprudence enforcement would deluge the countries contributing a scope of enforcement activities ‘ ( Braga & A ; Kennedy 2002 cited in Bullock & A ; Tilley 2008 p.38 ) , ‘this acted as a hindrance in itself, but it besides provided inducements for pack members to command one another ‘s behavior… ( besides ) a scope of service would be offered to gang members such as educational proviso or diversionary chances. ‘ ( Braga & A ; Kennedy 2002 cited in Bullock and Tilley 2008 p.39 ) . The original purpose of the Manchester Project was to ‘deter force through extremely publicised multi-agency crackdowns ‘ ( Bullock and Tilley, 2008 p.40 ) nevertheless the undertaking drifted towards undertaking the societal determiners of pack rank instead than the situational determiners of shots by ‘identifying gang members or those at hazard of going involved and developing preventive and diversionary intercessions ‘ ( Bullock and Tilley, 2008 p.41 ) . The GMP established the Xcalibre Task Force concentrating on intelligence, enforcement and bar. Intelligence is used to place and track pack members to set up who poses the largest hazard. Building on the intelligence statute law is used to curtail gang member ‘s motions and activities. After two fatal shots in January 2008 GMP launched Operation Cougar. This involved an increased constabulary presence on the streets and in correlativity pack activity decreased significantly. Operation Cougar besides proactively identified those demoing behaviors, or were in a location at a clip of twenty-four hours which may do them a victim of gun offense. These young persons and their parents were issued with a missive of concern which detailed services offered under the Manchester Multi-Agency Gang Strategy ( MMAGS ) , which included a ‘combination of one-to-one working with gang members… turn toing pack rank in topographic points of instruction… supplying structured intercession programs and the bringing of a… cognitive behavior programme ‘ ( Home Office, 2008 p.17 ) . If these young persons continue to jeopardize themselves they may be moved to a topographic point of safety by returning them to their places or into the attention of societal services. Operation Eagle is another illustration of the constabulary working aboard other bureaus. The constabulary executed 105 pieces search warrants and 21 hunts of pack member ‘s places. 25 people were arrested and 4 pieces seized ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.55 ) . At the same clip the constabulary worked with other bureaus including the MMAGS administering cusps explicating how to entree support services.

All of these steps provided pack members with the chance to either go forth the packs or face the constabulary, who showed rigorous enforcement. This differs from the lines of the original Boston Project nevertheless measures do necessitate to be tailored to the specific communities and context in which they are implemented.

A similar attack was adopted in Birmingham by making a multi-agency group. West Midlands Police implemented enforcement through the agencies of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders ( ASBO ‘s ) and s.222 of the Local Governments Act 1972. S.222 was used to except persons from certain countries ‘so that they could no longer exert influence, trade drugs or intimidate occupants there ‘ ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.60 ) . ASBO ‘s were besides used to set up exclusion zones and bound an person ‘s ability to prosecute pack activity. West Midlands Police ‘s usage of s.222 was nevertheless stalled when a high tribunal justice ruled that it was an improper usage of this power ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.61 ) . After having an ASBO some pack members did enter pack issue programmes which offer lodging, reding and employment support ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.60 ) . In Birmingham a mediation service was besides introduced nevertheless this was wholly independent of this constabulary. This service aimed to ‘unite disparate and fractured groups that were locked in a rhythm of force by conveying them together to place and work through the struggle ‘ ( Golding & A ; McClory, 2008 p.63 ) .

Both of these instances have attempted to undertake pack and pieces issues through intercession and enforcement in the short term and in the long term through educating immature people and edifice community assurance.

TGAP was seen to hold ‘delivered existent consequences ‘ ( Home office, 2009 p.20 ) and the Government hailed it a success. The Home Office draws attending to the 17 % decrease in pieces offenses in 2008/09 compared with 2007/08 ( Home Office, 2009 p.6 ) nevertheless a closer analysis inquiries this success. The figure of offenses per month decreased by 27 % during the TGAP period ( Dawson, 2008 p.3 ) nevertheless in old old ages at that place was a 30 % decrease ( 05/06 ) and a 4 % decrease ( 06/07 ) ( Dawson, 2008 p.3/4 ) . There seems to be no clear tendency with these figures and it may non be possible to impute this decrease to the programme. The figure of monthly recorded pieces related hurts for all four countries besides fell by 51 % during the TGAP period ( Dawson, 2008 p3 ) . Decreases had besides occurred in old old ages nevertheless they were dramatically lower. When pieces offenses are analysed by each single country of the programme a assorted image appears. Both the London and Greater Manchester Police Force countries experienced decreases in pieces offenses nevertheless Birmingham and Merseyside saw an addition. Squires et Al ( 2008 ) argue that the overall gun offense decrease claimed by TGAP is ‘largely attributable to the falling rate of gun offense in London entirely ‘ ( p.43 ) . This raises great uncertainty over the success of the programme. There may nevertheless be many accounts for these differences. First the figure of guns may be limited and may travel from one constabulary force to the other significance that when one constabulary force has raised offenses the other lessenings. Alternatively it is possible that some of the constabulary forces involved already had a better terms, for illustration GMP already had cognition of their local packs and their districts. The difference in consequences could besides be accounted to the different methods adopted by each constabulary force. To associate the decrease in offenses to the TGAP programme in Manchester, figures show that merely 10 % of the “ mark list ” re-offended ( Brand & A ; Ollerearnshaw, 2006 p.17 ) and this provides grounds that the MMAGS and its Intervention program may be attributable for the decrease in offenses. Birmingham ‘s failure could be attributed to the s.222 being taken away as it was reported that gun offense did rise after the tribunals banned its usage ( O’Neill 2008 ) .

In this essay I have shown how the recent tendency in gun offense affecting immature people is linked to the outgrowth of a gang civilization with young persons fall ining packs for protection, to perpetrate condemnable offenses and to raise their position in society. Recently police attacks have recognised the demand to turn to the societal and psychological factors through multi-agency plans as statute law and enforcement entirely did non discourage young persons from transporting pieces and although the success of the TGAP have been questioned the instance surveies of Manchester and Birmingham do supply grounds that prosecuting with gang-members and those at hazard of pack rank is good in garnering intelligence and in supplying a path out of packs. In Manchester a really low re-offending rate was seen after intercession by the multi-agency group and in Birmingham young persons did take advantage of the issue programmes. I would suggest that even if merely a few young persons use these services they have been successful as lives have potentially been saved. I have proposed possible account for the lower than expected consequences in some metropoliss. A multi-agency attack besides makes police enforcement look more merely. I would reason that constabulary attacks are effectual in cut downing gun offense affecting immature people nevertheless there is room for betterment and the subject of short-run steps to cut down immediate injury and long-run steps aimed at undertaking the causes of young person gun offense and pack rank demand to be built upon, undertaking gun offense from all angles.


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