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0747405 Gang Violence


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For years Toronto has seen its fair share of gang violence. But over the past decade, gang violence has been substantially higher and on a much more serious and public level. It has reached a point where the citizens of Toronto are consumed by the fear of being involved with gang violence. Has it become the new trend?

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0747405 Gang Violence

  1. 1. GANG VIOLENCE The New Trend in Toronto?
  2. 2. What is Gang Violence? <ul><li>Gang violence, while not a new development in Canada, is becoming much harder to dismiss as just 'boys being boys'. Not only are girls seemingly becoming more involved in group/gang violence, but the violence of both sexes seems to be becoming more random, more vicious, and more extreme. It’s difficult to define gang violence since the term itself is so vague. Are those who loiter or vandalize, compared to those who get into fist fights, use a gun, sell drugs, or murder, considered gangs? </li></ul><ul><li>Figure 1- Toy Gang (Flickr, ) </li></ul><ul><li>The Toronto police forces defines gang violence as “a group of three of more individuals who form an alliance for the purpose of engaging in criminal activity” (Victims Of Violence, 2008, ) </li></ul>
  3. 3. TABLE 1- Estimated Number of Youth Gangs and Youth Gang Members, Nationally and by Province, 2002 AREA Number of youth gangs Number of youth gang members Canada 434 7071 British Columbia 102 1027 Alberta 42 668 Saskatchewan 28 1315 Manitoba 15 171 Ontario 216 3320 Quebec 25 533 Nova Scotia 6 37 New Brunswick 0 0 P.E.I. 0 0 NFL and Labrador 0 0 Yukon 0 0 Northwest Terr. 0 0 Nunavut 0 0
  4. 4. Types of Gangs <ul><li>In today’s diverse society, gangs are not limited to one category. Instead they can be grouped into nine categories: </li></ul><ul><li>Social gangs: get high and ‘hang out’ – are not involved in violence </li></ul><ul><li>Party gangs: like social gangs except may get involved in selling drugs & vandalism </li></ul><ul><li>Instrumental gangs: property crimes </li></ul><ul><li>Predatory gangs: serious violence and serious drug use </li></ul><ul><li>Scavenger gangs: survive through petty crime </li></ul><ul><li>Serious delinquent gangs: very violent </li></ul><ul><li>Territorial gangs: associated with turfs </li></ul><ul><li>Organized/corporate gangs: very involved with drugs as a form of business </li></ul><ul><li>Drug gangs: extremely coercive drug involved group </li></ul><ul><li>These different types of gangs prove that the stereotypical image of a gang is not always the case, where violence and drug abuse are not always involved, like the social gangs. </li></ul><ul><li>It is very common for different types of gangs to join, usually for the purpose of protection, and create what is called a “super-gang” or “nation”. It is possible for a super-gang to become so large that it is not territorially bound, and has smaller groups scattered across nations (e.g. Cripz). </li></ul><ul><li>(Finley, 2007, p.85) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Figure 5 - Gang Unit of Toronto Harry Allen,
  6. 6. Response to Gang Violence <ul><li>Although gang violence is a constant fear in Torontonians, especially to parents with children in dangerous schools or neighborhoods, people and organizations have made tremendous efforts to fight against gang violence and make Toronto a safer city. </li></ul><ul><li>Organizations like Tim Hortons, The Canadian Safe School Network, and the Toronto Argonauts are involved in programs like the Bullying Prevention in Schools, in the attempt to unify Toronto and </li></ul><ul><li>stop the violence that runs rampant in its streets. Through fundraising, these organizations are able to build youth centers and begin youth mentor programs to help keep the youth of Toronto away from gang violence. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Figure 7 -Two of the Major Gangs in Toronto: The Bloodz and The Cripz
  8. 9. Gangs the New Trend? <ul><li>Within the past decade, the nature of violence in Toronto has changed, where appears to be a dramatic increase in gang violence and organized crime. Not only is gang violence an issue for the Toronto Police, but it is also becoming a huge concern for the general public. There is a fear among the majority of the people of Toronto that if you are not already involved with gang violence, the threat of becoming involved or an incidental bystander exists. As these gang wars on Toronto streets are becoming more public, the number of civilian casualties is steadily rising, adding to the already growing fear in people. </li></ul><ul><li>It seems that organized crime has become a trend in Toronto – not necessarily a good one – where nearly all public attention is focused on the threat of gang violence. </li></ul><ul><li>( </li></ul>
  9. 10. Citations <ul><li>Flickr, Dec 2007: http:// </li></ul><ul><li>Canadian centre for missing children, Victims of Violence, May 2008, </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Cripz and Bloodz images </li></ul><ul><li> (may 2008) </li></ul><ul><li> (June 2008) </li></ul><ul><li> Violence Spreading Bad Picture of Toronto Around the World. </li></ul><ul><li>Finley, Laura. Encyclopedia of Juvinile Violence. Conneticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Harry Allen. Media Assasins . April 29, 2008. content/uploads/2008/04/218-gangs7standaloneprod_affiliate25.jpg </li></ul><ul><li> Stop the Violence. 2007: </li></ul><ul><li>Public Safety Canada, 2002: </li></ul>