Gang culture must be stopped early

Guardian (UK) 20 Oct 2011
Britain’s gang, gun and crime culture has to be tackled at the point when children in problem families are still in their mothers’ wombs, Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, said on Thursday as he trailed what is likely to be a landmark report on youth violence drawn up after the summer riots. The report, being prepared by Duncan Smith and the home secretary, Theresa May, will combine proposals for better parenting with tough measures to deglamorise gang membership, including increased sentences for specific offences if the perpetrator is a known gang member.

The work of the two forces in fighting gangs would form the kernel of the report, Duncan Smith said. Duncan Smith said solutions lay in earlier intervention with identifiable problem families, more male role models in schools, a requirement by politicians to own up that they have a gang problem, and enforcement disrupting the lives of gang leaders.