Gangs and youth violence have been among the most debated and publicly salient issues in contemporary Britain. It has also been an area which has witnessed an explosion of research, policymaking and funding of policy interventions. As a result it is important to ask what is known about the effectiveness of interventions and whether it is possible to outline what works.
Over the course of the 1990s and 2000s the increasing interest in and concern about British gangs responded to a growth in their presence and increasing violence. The response was a range of research projects, policy papers and government initiatives to bring down these numbers.
These drew a picture of gangs and youth violence as one multi-faceted problem to be addressed through targeted, multi-agency programmes (see for example Brand and Ollerearnshaw 2008, The Centre for Social Justice 2009). And indeed they appeared to have positive results as national youth homicide and assault levels dropped considerably (HM Government
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