Glasgow Gangs by Michael and Declan

Over the past few weeks we have been researching gangs in Glasgow, due to their role in the plot of ‘Divided City ‘.

Over time,  there have been gangs in Glasgow associated with sectarianism between Catholics and Protestants. One Protestant gang was named ‘The Billy Boys’ who were well known for their love of King Billy. They were soon to be joined by ‘The Norman Conks’, ‘The San Toi’, ‘The Tongs’, ‘The Fleet’, ‘The Govan Team’, ‘The Bingo Boys’ and  large scores of other gangs all of whom were as strong, some even getting political.

For decades, gangs ruled Glasgow’s streets with razors, coshes and broken bottles. Glasgow is notorious for its razor gangs, which operated in the south side of the city during the late 1920’s and 1930’s. They were feared across the UK because of their distinct weapon of choice, razors. Today, many gangs still operate in Glasgow. The Calton Tongs are one of Glasgow’s most feared gangs, who operate in the East End, selling drugs, robbing homes and doing other, some more disturbing, illegal activities.

Clyde_Arc_by_macieklew

Clyde Arc by macieklew [Licence CC-BY-SA 3.0]

Some general information on gangs is that gangs are a group of people, often young teens, looking for trouble and that take over a place to make money through some illegal activity like drugs, robbing and bribery. It has been reported that 86 per cent of US cities with about a population of 100,00 people have reported gang activity, which shows it is not as big a problem in Glasgow as it is elsewhere. Most people often say that gangs are a ‘big city problem.’

There are many different gangs in Glasgow, though they operate for very similar reasons. Gangs make Glasgow an unusual and sometimes scary place and they also reflect a bad reputation onto the city because of all the havoc they cause across Glasgow.

Sources

Gang Violence Around the World, http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/episodes/18-with-a-bullet/gang-violence-around-the-world/1392/  accessed 4/11/2014

11 Facts About Gangs, https://beta.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-gangs accessed 5/11/2014

Gang Facts, http://www.gangfree.org/gangs_index.html accessed 5/11/2014

10 Bad*ss Gangs From History, http://listverse.com/2013/07/30/10-badass-gangs-from-history/ accessed 5/11/2014

Razor gangs ruled the streets but even in the violence of pre-war years, one man stood out, http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/razor-gangs-ruled-the-streets-but-even-960790 accessed 5/11/2014

Teenage gang plague ‘six times worse in Glasgow than London’ , http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/teenage-gang-plague-six-times-worse-in-glasgow-than-london-1-1076853 accessed 5/11/2014

I’ve spent 15 years of my life with Glasgow gangs, http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/ive-spent-15-years-of-my-life-with-glasgow-gangs-132927n.21810844 accessed 6/11/2014

The quiet Great Train Robber reveals identity of the gang’s mystery insider, http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/sep/28/great-train-robber-douglas-gordon-goody-reveals-identity-mystery-inside accessed 6/11/2014

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