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How do we know how many children are in gangs?

Thursday 28th of February 2019 | Europe, United Kingdom
bbc
News

Gang activity often takes place under the radar of the authorities, and even defining what counts as a gang is not straightforward.

A report has estimated there are 27,000 children in gangs, as the Children's Commissioner for England Anne Longfield calls on professionals to "learn from the mistakes of child sexual exploitation" and treat children as victims not perpetrators.

So how did they reach this figure?

Each year, the Office for National Statistics runs a crime survey asking a representative sample of households about their experience of crime. For the past three years, it has asked children aged 10 to 15 whether they considered themselves to be a member of a street gang.

The Office of the Children's Commissioner in England did its own calculation using these figures.

Last year, of a sample of about 4,000 children, 0.7% (about 30 children) said they considered themselves to be in a street gang.

This figure was scaled up to give the estimated 27,000 figure for the whole population of England for a single year.

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