News story

Changes in legislation reflected in new gang definition

The Home Office has today (8 June) published revised statutory guidance to reflect changes to the legislation on gang injunctions.

The legislative changes that have now come into force widen the scope of gang injunctions to include gang-related drug dealing. It had previously just covered gang-related violence.

These changes also amend the statutory definition of a gang to make it less prescriptive and more flexible, as previously the definition referred to gang colours and geographic areas. It has been simplified so that a gang is now defined as having one or more characteristics that enable its members to be identified as a group by others.

There is also a guide for practitioners which provides practical information on how to apply for a gang injunction.

Minister for Preventing Abuse and Exploitation Karen Bradley said:

Gang and youth violence has a devastating impact on the young people who get caught up in it, as well as their families and communities.

It is not an issue that any one agency or government department can tackle alone. It requires the police, teachers, social workers, housing officers, youth workers, employment advisers and many others working together, and sharing information in order to safeguard vulnerable young people and target the most violent.

Due to the changing nature of the way gangs operate we have updated the definition of a gang to ensure injunctions remain effective. We have also made it easier for courts to grant injunctions to prevent gang-related drug dealing and protect individuals from this kind of activity by expanding the scope of gang injunctions.

Published 8 June 2015