Why it matters

Gangs, gang activity, and youth involvement with street gangs is generally on the rise, and only effective community led initiatives that address the lived realities of the youth in those communities can address such issues.

Street gangs are considered by the general public to be an imminent concern for Saskatchewan residents.

The increased levels of violence and distribution of drugs are associated to street gangs, specifically where almost half of all murders in the province last year was associated to street gangs in some form or another shows that the levels of violence and death is real.

However, what is unclear is how to best address the issues of street gangs, which is found across the literature on street gangs globally.

With such a large provincial geographic area, and differences across communities, a singular static definition to street gangs and how to best address them is inadequate.

Thus, the development of a typology will allow communities to understand the levels of violence and behaviours targeted by policing agencies.

By addressing local root causes of street gang involvement the results will be increased healthier communities by addressing addictions and violence associated by trauma, keep families together rather than separation by incarceration, and build safe communities for all.