This chapter outlines a critique of recent English youth gang policy, focusing on how the issue has been formulated and also on the ethical role of the criminologist as evaluator and policy commentator. It highlights methodological and evidential gaps at the heart of policy and argues for the more active, engaged role of the criminologist. The chapter discusses the broader UK political context at the time of writing, an unstable coalition government making major budgetary cuts with uneven impact across populations makes this form of policy-making increasingly likely, and introduces into it core characteristics that render the role of the engaged criminologist more important than ever. There should be a more direct connection between the methodology of studying the phenomena and practices aimed at addressing the issues. If, before the index period under consideration, few UK police forces were willing to admit to the existence of US-style gangs, the operational picture changed very quickly in the late 1990s.
|Title of host publication||The Routledge Handbook of Criminal Justice Ethics|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - Jul 1 2016|