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Gangs, the Usual Suspects

What do we mean when we talk about a gang, the difference between loose street connections and organised crime, and why asking the question 'who am I' so often leads to trouble.

From Brighton Rock and Goodfellas to the streets of Glasgow, London’s East End and Chicago, what’s it really like to be part of a gang and do gangs lead to organised crime? Matthew Sweet calls a meeting with Criminologist Alistair Fraser, journalist Symeon Brown and James Docherty of Scotland's Violent Reduction Unit

Symeon Brown describes himself as an ’activist/writer on youth, justice and urbanism’ and is a journalist for Channel 4 News. He was senior researcher for The Guardian’s investigation team on their in-house study, Reading the Riots about the English riots of 2011.

Alistair Fraser researches gang culture with a particular focus on youth ‘gangs’, street-based teenagers involved in criminal activity in Glasgow, Chicago and Hong Kong. His book Urban Legends: Gang Identity in the Post-Industrial City, was awarded the British Society of Criminology Book Prize.

James Docherty has worked with a leading children’s charity helping young people on the cusp of organised crime and with the ‘Violence Reduction Unit’ in Glasgow. He advocates for change in the way we address the hidden cost of untreated trauma in our communities.

Recorded with an audience at Sage Gateshead as part of BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking Festival.

Producer: Jacqueline Smith.

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44 minutes