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Types of criminal exploitation

Gang-related activity

Defining a gang is difficult, they tend to fall into three categories: peer groups, street gangs  and organised crime groups. 

It can be common for groups of children and young people to gather together in public places to socialise, and although some  peer group gatherings can lead to increased anti social behaviour and low level youth offending, these activities should not be confused with the serious violence of a street gang.

A street gang will engage in criminal activity and violence and may lay claim over territory. They may have some form of identifying structure featuring a hierarchy usually based on age, physical strength, propensity to violence or older sibling rank. 

There maybe  certain rites involving antisocial or criminal behaviour or sex acts in order to become part of the gang. They are in conflict with other similar gangs.

Links to services that can support you and your family

Download: Advice for parents and carers on gangs from the government (opens in a new window)

Website: Family lives (opens in a new window)

Website: NSPCC gangs and young people (opens in a new window)

Children’s Missing Officers – GET SAFE Team Missing people

Telephone: 116 000
Website: Missing people (opens in a new window)

Runaway helpline

Call or Text: 116 000
Website: Runaway helpline (opens in a new window)


Telephone: 0300 5000914
Website: Streetlink (opens in a new window)