Identifying Risk Factors and Dispelling Common Myths about Calgary Gangs
There are several factors that may result in a higher risk of gang activity among youths. In some communities, gangs may seem like the answer to a lot of problems, especially for kids who may not think they have many other choices available to them. However, gangs are not just a problem in urban areas. In Calgary, gangs often spring up in the unlikeliest of places, snaring unwary kids and blindsiding parents with a host of new worries and possible criminal charges.
Risk Factors for Gang Involvement in Calgary
The risk factors for gang involvement are many and varied. Some kids may feel powerless in their lives, and joining a gang may seem like a path to taking control in their lives. Falling in with the wrong crowd, feeling alone and alienated, and lack of clear goals can all contribute to a young person feeling the need to become part of a gang. In some cases, there is a lack of proper guidance and help making decisions, especially in situations where bullying and other types of violence are occurring. Parents may not even be aware of such problems; bullied children will often try to hide the problems out of a misplaced feeling of guilt or shame over the situation.
Unfortunately, at a time in their lives when their decision-making abilities are not yet fully developed, kids can end up in bad situations, often through no fault of their own. One moderate misstep, such being involved in gang-related activity or hanging out with kids known to be involved in gangs, can impact the rest of their lives.
Myths About Calgary Gangs
It's a commonly accepted myth that gangs are an inner-city or urban problem. They're not supposed to reach into the suburbs, but it can happen. In fact, law enforcement officers in many suburban areas report that there is some gang activity in their jurisdiction. You don't have to live in an urban area for your child to be exposed to gangs.
It's also a myth that there is some sort of age requirement to be in a gang. Gang activity can begin at any age. Most kids join a gang during their teenage years, when they don't understand the consequences and it just seems like a fun, exciting thing to do. However, there are gangs that have no compunction about recruiting small children to run errands or perform other types of tasks for them. Some gangs have been known to recruit kids as young as five or six to be message runners or pickpockets. Your child doesn't have to be a teenager to be exposed to gangs.
Facing Criminal Charges for Gang Activity in Calgary
Children and young adults lack the capacity to make informed, logical decisions. That part of the brain isn't fully developed until around the age of 25. As a teen, becoming part of a gang might just seem like the cool thing to do this week. Unfortunately, gang involvement can lead to crippling lifelong consequences.
I understand these consequences, and, as an experienced Calgary criminal defence lawyer, I will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact me today for your free initial consultation.