Types of gangs

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WHAT IS A GANG?pretty gangsta myself.jpg

  • According to the FBI, a gang is a “group of three or more individuals bonded together by race, national origin, culture or territory, who associate on a continual basis for the purpose of committing criminal acts”


  1. Hedonistic” gangs

-Mostly social groups

-Main focus is partying (getting drunk or high)

-If violence occurs it is usually over the “right” to party and not over “turf”

  1. Instrumental” gangs

-These gangs are likely to commit crimes against property rather than crimes against people (e.g. Car thefts or burglaries)

-Main motivation is moneyhttp://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fsjm6yoypss/upgjooxgnli/aaaaaaaaakk/iqeljtm_rwk/s1600/sons_of_anarchy_60499.png

  1. Predatory” gangs

-Considered social predators, meaning they commit violent crimes against people (e.g. Drive-by shootings, organized drug deals, carjacking)

-Tend to use drugs that enhance violent behaviour including crystal meth or crack

-They associate fear as a way to achieve domination and control



  • Identity

  • Discipline

  • Recognition

  • Love

  • Belonging

  • Money

  • Safety


  • Gangs have been around for hundreds of years

  • Pirates are often considered one of the first organized bad gangs

  • Street gangs exist in large urban centres, smaller cities, suburbs and even rural areas

  • Gangs usually prey on each other or other gangs, not on outsidersthe-pirates.jpg

  • Street gangs typically fight or defend particular areas known as “turf”

  • Some gangs have formalized rules and operations however, most are loose associations of young people

  • Young people join gangs because of racism, poverty or lack of love and support at home

  • The media has promoted gang culture through film, news, and music; glorifying the underbelly of gang culture including drugs, sex, and violence as a way to attain wealth and power

  • The Bloods and the Crips are modern day gangs that originated in the 1960s and are highly organized


Gang members often wear clothes or clothing items that will distinguish themselves from others or send a message. Some clothing items, such as bandanas may be obvious, whereas other items may have a more subtle message. The more common items you may see is for example a blue bandana worn on the head or hanging out of a pocket to signify a “Crip” member or red bandana for “Blood”. Gang members will also wear certain manufacturer clothing such as Calvin Klein because the letters CK on the front of the t-shirt can signify “Crip Killer” in the gang culture.


Some call it urban expression, however unless you have the permission of the owner of the property, spraying an object/ wall is a criminal offence; mischief. Not all graffiti is gang related. Gangs do however use graffiti to communicate:

- Send a message to other gangs;http://cdn.newsday.com/polopoly_fs/1.1806446.1268344338!/image/1117666510.jpg_gen/derivatives/display_600/1117666510.jpg

- Stake out their territory;

- Communicate and instill fear in the community.

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