Gang Membership and Knife Carrying: Findings from The Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime

Published: September 2010

This report, commissioned by the Scottish Government,  presents key findings on gang membership and knife carrying amongst a cohort of young people based on data collected by the Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime (ESYTC). The analysis was commissioned in light of a lack of quantitative data measuring the extent of gang membership and knife crime in Scotland.

The ESTYC is a longitudinal study of pathways into and out of offending for a cohort of around 4,300 young people which started in 1998. The findings presented in this report are based on self-report data collected from this cohort of individuals over a six year period, from the age of 12 to 17.

The aims of this report are to provide an account of the knife carrying behaviour and reported gang membership amongst young people using the ESYTC data; to explore the background characteristics or profiles of young people who have carried knives or been involved in a gang; and to identify the main risk factors associated with knife carrying and gang membership. The report also aims to highlight the key similarities and differences between these two groups.

Authors / Editors

Prof Susan McVie OBE FRSE

Research Themes

Young People and Youth Justice

Violence, Drugs and Alcohol