Violent Gangs in Poor Urban Areas

It is common knowledge that crime in poor urban areas is the major contributor of deaths in these areas. It is, in fact, argued that deaths attributable to the HIV/AIDS pandemic are less than those caused by violent crimes in poor urban areas. Much of the crime evident in poor urban areas is caused by the development of gangs in these areas. The gangs act as breeding grounds for criminals and also provide them with things that encourage them to be criminals like drugs, guns and companionship (Crutchfield 1). The crimes perpetrated by such groups, therefore, extend to other urban areas and affect the country as a whole. It is, therefore, apparent that the issue of violent gangs in poor urban areas needs serious intervention by the government in order to reduce the number of crimes in urban areas.

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As mentioned above, one of the major reasons for the rampant increase of urban crimes is the formation of gangs in poor urban neighborhoods. Such gangs are normally characterized by drug trafficking, possession of illegal guns, emulation of the hip-hop culture and the like. These factors work in unison to make the members of these gangs hardcore criminals who are not afraid to commit violent crimes. This is because they normally have all the facilities they need to commit such crimes and also because in the hip-hop culture, a hero is defined by the number of times he/she has been locked up. These gangs also influence children in school making them their drug vendors in schools. The children may also be provided with guns. This may lead to violent crime in schools. This has been evidenced by several incidences of shootings in school whereby a student in possession of an illegal gun shoots his/her schoolmates. Such students may also be influenced by the other gang members to drop out of school after which they become fulltime members of the gang and become fully initiated to crime. The dropping out of school plunge these children deep in poverty and they therefore have the reasons and means for committing crimes (McClure 24).

As stated in the above discussion, poverty is one of the reasons why youth residing in urban areas indulge themselves in crime. The environment in which poor people living in the urban areas live in encourages violent crime. Most of these areas are poorly lit due to lack of access to electricity. This implies that some areas have dark corridors at night in which criminals can ambush unsuspecting victims. The areas are also characterized with low moral standards that are the main reason behind violent crimes committed by poor urban youth. For instance, a youth may shoot his/her friend over an argument; some incidences of rape may be followed by the murder of the victim and also the language used by people residing in ghettos is provocative and may lead to occurrences of violent crime. Additionally, poor urban areas are normally bordered by well-off areas in which the problems of the poor urban areas have been solved by the government. For instance, a poor urban area without electricity may be bordered by a well-lit-middle-class residence. This may make the people living in the poor urban areas feel that the government is not fair. This may make them develop some kind of hatred towards the well-off areas and leading to violent crime perpetrated by the poor residents towards the middle-class people. This is one of the reasons for the frequent killing of innocent people by armed robberies/criminals (McClure 17).

The stated violent crime has serious ramifications to the urban areas. As mentioned above, violent crime is not restricted to the poor urban areas but it affects virtually all the regions of the urban areas. This is evidenced by the assassinations of U.S. presidents and other prominent people. It is therefore evident that an intervention is needed with urgency to reduce the level of violent crimes among people living in poor urban areas. Programs should be developed to improve the living conditions of people living in poor urban areas in a bid to reduce the level of violent crime (Crutchfield 1).

One of the strategic components of the stated programs that can help to reduce the level of violent crime is the upgrading of the living standards of people in poor urban areas. Better schools should be built to give poor children proper education so that they support their neighborhoods in the future, the areas should be provided with electricity to ensure that walkways and corridors are properly lit in a bid to reduce the number of ambushes in these places, proper houses should be provided for these people in order to make them comparable to their neighborhoods and boost their esteem so that they do not engage themselves in immoral behavior (Crutchfield 1). This is because, as stated earlier, immoral behavior is one of the major factors that lead to violent crimes by these people.

Another strategy that the federal government may use in combating the violent crime is enduring poor urban areas have good networks of roads within them to improve the ease of administration. This will lead to reduction in the level of drug usage and trafficking which will, in turn, lead to a reduction in the rate of formation of gangs. Since gangs are the main reason for increased violent crime, by checking their rate of formation, the government will have reduced the level of violent crime substantially (McClure 15).

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The fact that poor urban population procreates the most should also be addressed in the stated program. This is because the more the population becomes, the more problems they will have and hence violent crime is expected to be high since all the other factors leading to an increase in violent crime can stem from increased population in these areas. It is therefore of essence that the government checks the population of these areas by adopting strategies that will help them reduce their rate of procreation. The government can achieve this by creating more employment for the poor so that the living standards of these people are raised. This will also ensure that they do not stay idle to make more babies. The government can also adopt birth control measures for poor urban areas like the cutting down of social benefits to the families that receive them (McClure 11). This will ultimately reduce poor urban population and consequently the rate of violent crime in urban areas will reduce.

As evidenced in the discussion above, the rate of violent crimes in urban areas can be attributed to the poverty characteristic of these areas. Since the violent crime has serious effects on urban population the government should intervene by checking its increase. This can be achieved by reduction of poverty levels in poor urban areas and the control of the schemes and immoral behavior that people living in poor urban areas use to survive. An example of such schemes is the trafficking of drugs which lead to development of gangs and therefore lead to increased violent crime. Therefore the government should do all it can to fight such schemes and behaviors in a bid to curb violent crime in urban areas.

Works Cited

Crutchfield, Robert. “Crime Rates in Urban Areas”. 2010. Web.

McClure, Kami. “Urban Crime Prevention and Youth at Risk.” 2005. Web.

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