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Public fed up of the fighting; RecordView.

A BLOODY gang fight in Lanarkshire a couple of weeks ago could easily have ended in tragedy.

Around 30 youths from rival local gangs fought a pitched battle armed with knives.

Three ended up in hospital with serious stab wounds.

They were aged just 15, 16 and 17 - so if this was a movie, the chances are they would not be allowed to see it.

Sadly, the violence was all too real and it nearly killed them.

The Record was present yesterday when a number of arrests were made, including one boy aged just 13.

More arrests are to follow and police made a point of praising members of the public who are fed up with the fighting for coming forward to help with their inquiry.

But the incident still raises troubling questions about Scottish society.

Gang culture, especially in west central Scotland, is deeply ingrained.

Police say youths from Carmyle and Westburn, near Glasgow, have fought over the same anonymous-looking railway bridge for years - but no one knows why.

It seems even harder to explain in an age when teenagers want for nothing, when they enjoy material comforts that would have been unthinkable a few years back.

Smartphones, designer gear, computer games, spending money - none of it has made any difference.

Life must still be pretty hopeless if running with a gang and risking your life in a knife fight is the best it has to offer.

There are no easy answers to a problem that has plagued parts of Scotland for generations.

But it's clear we are not doing enough to provide any real hope for a significant number of disaffected young people.

Those guilty of criminal offences must be punished with the full weight of the law.

But the problem of gang fights will not go away until we address the root cause of this mindless yobbery.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 16, 2012
Words:310
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