Pre-teens feeding into gangs

Gareth Wilson

SCHOOL pupils as young as 12 are starting to form their own gangs in Port Elizabeth’s northern areas and they are responsible for a number of incidents linked to unrest in the Bay.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer Alwin Labans said youngsters werefollowing the lead of older gangsters and forming their own gangs. “We have recently arrested some youths as young as 12. They were involved in disputes with other school gangs and are also responsible for a large part of the stone-throwing and school fights,” he said.

Labans said police were working hard to clamp down on these younger gangs.

“The younger gangs set a precedent for when they get older and form more violent gangs.”

He said poverty and the idolisation of older gang members attracted the youth to a life of crime.

Older gangsters were also recruiting youths to peddle drugs and weapons as they could “fly under the radar”.

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