There is no consensus on defining what a street gang is and the influence of US street gang research on defining such and offering ‘solutions’ is deeply problematic given both their ‘Hollywood’ representation (highly structured, cohesive and violent) and the fact gangs in the US are usually segregated along racial lines, use strict rules or “honour codes”, deploy coercion to recruit and retain members, and engage in high levels of violence and criminality (Young et al, 2011). The plethora of contested definitions of the ‘gang’ refer to groups of three or more, usually young people, with a territorial presence, who engage in illegal behaviour. It is important to acknowledge that gang stereotypes do not match gang realities. Across the research the term has adopted a special kind of ambiguity.
In this context, private and public sector partners join their efforts once more to offer up their expertise for safer communities across Europe. The team of eight partners is working together with over eighty other entities outside the project's financial framework, in order to provide a unique and European first accredited ECVET training for professionals working in gang related environments. All this is under the EUGANGS project framework.
A public research was issued by the partnership, capturing the realities of 8 very different contexts in Europe where gangs are present visibly or less visibly and are shaping the communities.