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Dearth of role models leads youths to gangs; POLITICS.

A lack of adult role models is fuelling a rise in UK youngsters joining gangs, a charity said yesterday.

A survey commissioned by the Prince's Trust suggested nearly a third of young people did not have an adult role model to look up to.

The charity claimed that young people were "creating youth communities" to make up for the lack of adult influence in their lives.

The Culture of Youth Communities survey was carried out on behalf of the youth charity to find out why young people wanted to get involved in gangs.

Some 22 per cent of the 1,754 young people questioned said they thought people joined gangs to find someone to look up to and 55 per cent said they were more influenced by their peers than by their parents. But the report found that just nine per cent of young people had joined gangs themselves and only two per cent had ever carried a knife.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokeswoman said: "Young people who come into contact with positive role models often have higher expectations, set personal goals and aim higher. It is vital that all our young people have positive individuals in their lives to help lift their aspirations."
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 9, 2008
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