Street gang has become a darling of many Medias across the world for creating news such as the number of crimes that have been committed and how many people have suffered and killed through the hands of this gang. This has led us to the question, where did the street gang emerge from and why did it emerge or what is the driving force behind it? Street gang is believed to have existed in this world in the early 12th or 14th century. For instance, in Great Briton, it is believed that gangs became common in the early 14th centuries and 15th centuries. This kind of gang which was known as the Long Bridge Boys and the Fly Boys never believed to possess the kind of activities that the modern gang posses today (Conly, 1993). They were more organized and localized with no bad intention or even criminal activities.
They only participated in “Opportunistic criminal activities and inter-gang rivalry.” The modern street gang came about at around 1600s when London was terrorized by that series of organized gang who called themselves as the Mims, Hectors, Bugles and Amusement. Later on, in America, The Forty Thieves, which was known to be an Irish-American street gang, was identified. Their formation was based on being against the low social status and prejudice that was being shown towards the Irish immigrants (Conly, 1993). This encouraged them to get involved in criminal activities so as to get some profit and reduce some frustrations of life. This gang had the guts of breaking windows and demolishing taverns. Interestingly, this gang could even disagree and have a fight between them. For instance one gang attacking the other. There dressing code was the colored ribbons that were meant to differentiate them from others and displaying gang symbols. Apart from their dressing code, they also had some signs which were supposed to indicate their gang membership (Klein, & Maxson, 2006).
Some of them were hand signals which indicated their hand membership. Other ways which were supposed to display their loyalty were such as the “C-Walk” which was known to be a dance-like walking pattern. It is believed as much as this gangs was seen to be that serious, there is that believe that a more serious gang emerged in the 19th century putting their focus in the city slums, tenements, saloons and the dance halls. This was because of some few economic differences or status (Kyanka, 2001). As the economy continued to elope into the great depression, a number of gangs started to emerge as money making enterprises. They started stealing and dealing with drugs so as to make large amounts of money. Others got involved with the gang because of the peer pressure and this was done through recruitment of teenagers, while others joined because of the boredom they felt so as to entertain themselves. For those many years, they became a source of identity, societal status and economic survival in those activities (Almonte, & Desmond, 1994).
It is also believed that the gang history came about because of the migration from different places and also poverty. This people were looking for the better life that could take care of them. The early immigrants’ groups’ chose to settle in the urban areas. They always looked dirty and bearded and always sat together mesmerizing about there lives. It is here they came up with a number of communities, reason being, for the economic struggle. Unfortunately, life became hard for them since they possessed little marketing skills. Finding a job and shelter also became a challenge to them (Conly, 1993). This brought about some conflict within those communities which triggered the gang activities to grow in those communities since there was an enmity which had been created by those rival gangs.
There impact started being felt among the communities when they started moving around the communities collecting some money. For instance, they could go to ones shop and threaten the owner of burning the shop if he did not corporate in giving in some few cash. Because of their ugliness and fatness, shop owners felt threatened and they bowed down to their demands. With the existence of narcotic drugs and fire arms, the street gang took advantage of those existing items and the scenario of the gangs became even worse as some centuries went by (Stark, 2001). They started emerging different types with each group having its own characteristics. These types were such as the Ethnic gangs, turf gangs and the prison gangs.
The ethnic gangs being one of the type, were seen to belonging to a given society or community or race. For instance there were those gangs such as Neo-Nazi whose work was to skinhead gangs while the supremacist gangs were meant to unite others because of their hatred towards the non-protestants, Christians, Jews, Blacks and Hispanics. The turf gang which is another type was to control the territory from the other communities (Klein, & Maxson, 2006). Such groups which were formed earlier were such as the 10th Street Gang or the East Side Cobras. Such groups had their own principles whereby, if another member from the other groups set a foot in their territories, that member could be punished by being beaten or even that member could even be killed (Stark, 2001). This was among one of the sources which brought about the gang rival groups. The final type of the group was the prison gangs. These groups were formed inside the prisons and they could fight other gangs inside the prison (Kyanka, 2001). This formation of prison groups had some powers in them of even extending their powers to the outside world and instructing on what is needed to be done.
However, how are these members recruited to become a full blown street gang? Here, some initiation which are supposed to endure certain rites were to be followed whereby, a member planning to join those groups had to sweat to prove that, that member is worthy like jumping in, getting some beatings from the gang members you are planning to join and for the ladies who wanted to join the gang also had their rite of passage. One of them was being gang raped instead of jumping in. If the above proved to be, tough another challenge could be issued to the member whereby the member could be given a mission to perform. Those missions were such as stealing big or bigger materials such as cars or even engaging that member into a fight with their rival gang member. The more challenging one is shooting or killing someone. The final initiation could be a getting a group’s tattoo (Wolf, 2011).
Wanting to identify a street member can be easier of become a challenge to some. These gangs always sit around the neighborhood, drink and take as they sell drugs. There meetings normally happens during the evenings especially in the pool places or roller rink. The other activities they might perform are vandalism or theft (Stark, 2001). This is because they believe that if one performs some activities successfully, that person is accorded the whole respect he or she needs from their fellows and this seems to be a driving force. However, others shoot, assassinate people for money, turf, pride or revenge.
Something one needs to note is that, the street gangs have got some rough hierarchy which is normally based on the experience especially those members who have had a chance of spending some time in prisons or have involved themselves in some serious crimes. These members are always accorded serious respect as compared to other members in the group who are still learning or are new to the crime scenes. Furthermore, the age also brings some divisions among the members into groups (Stark, 2001). Most of the groups which are normally formed are the junior groups, senior groups and the younger initiates. Despite all this groups being formed according to the age bracket, the senior members have got no leadership over the younger groups unless the street groups have got its own principals.
Female gangs are known to evolve as the offshoot of other gangs. For instance, if the gang member has a girlfriend, those people form their own group as a sign of loyalty to the original gang. Despite this groups being formed, female gangs are on the rise of late. They have decided to form their own groups and have gone further fighting their male counterpart for turf and respect. Nevertheless, some gangs accept the members regardless of the race or gender.
With all the emergence of this street gangs and the initiation, this groups have remained ever since creating and posing some threats to the homeland security. They have resolved to engaging into criminal activities such as human smuggling and trafficking, narcotic smuggling and distribution, identity theft and benefit fraud, money laundering and bulk cash smuggling, weapons smuggling and arms trafficking, cyber crimes export violation and more other crimes (Wolf, 2011).
This activities of the street gangs has posed some challenges to most of the governments of most nations and more meetings and debates have been held to coming up with a solution on wiping out such criminal activities because the underlying conditions that leads to the formation of the gangs have become complex (Almonte, & Desmond, 1994). As much as the police are trying to expand their crackdown on those street gangs, the groups have never got tired recruiting other members to replace those who have been sent to prison. This recruitment is normally done because of their poverty and despair in life.
Furthermore this street gang happens to be much smarter in their activities. For instance when they discover there is a crackdown of their fellows by the police especially in their area, they normally shift to another nearby location. Now it remains to be a merry-go king like game. Furthermore, this police breakdown in fact tightens their relationships stronger especially if there was any likelihood of the gang group falling apart (Klein, & Maxson, 2006). This is because they realize the pressure they are under much earlier and they decide to turn to each as they accord one another the support and ideas they need, take more pride in their gang affiliation and they become capable of greater acts of violence.
To solve such problems, there is need for solution, that solution is giving the youths or the gang members some decent jobs to keep them busy and earn a living through those jobs so that they cannot get time in concentrating on those criminal activities. There is also need to curb those clubs that are meant to encourage some criminal activities, get rid of graffiti. Encourage activities like sports to keep them busy (Almonte, & Desmond, 1994).
In conclusion, it is evidence that the history of street gang emergency is unknown because of the involvement of different groups. They have vowed to engage themselves to grow, evolve and engage in unthinkable criminal activities and continue to pose the nation’s security. Apart from that, some have gone a head to vow in forming some transnational criminal activities. That is why the provided solutions above need to be observed for the better.