Black and Minority Ethnic youth involvement in crime in the UK

Research question

This research will focus on answering the following research question:

What are the causes, impacts and effects of violence among the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) youths in the UK?

Literature Review

According to Clement (2010), he points out that presently in the UK, youth violence has posed a great concern for various authorities over the decades. Parkes and Conolly (2013) seconds, and notes that this has resulted into loss of many lives, serious injuries, as well as increased rate of perpetrators’ incarceration. In 2018, murder cases rose from 650 in 2017 to 740 and this was an increase of 14%. In this regard, knife crimes increased by 8% whilst violent crimes increased by 19% (Briggs, 2010). Last year, the statistics were considered the worse ever. Due to this vice, it is evident that many innocent BME youths have been injured whilst others have lost their lives. On an equal note, Franklin (2012) stresses that many BME youths have been noted to be significantly engaging as perpetrators of stabbings, as well as related violence. Clearly, both situations have presented a serious loss, especially to the society at large as there have been losses of lives, involved medical costs, as well as perpetrators’ incarceration (Clement, 2010).


Franklin (2012) stresses that a higher number of knife-related killings, and even violence have been noted to perpetrate seriously in poorer areas of the UK and among criminal gangs. It is noted that most of the BME youths reside in such areas, due to economic disparities. Notably, Briggs (2010) adds that such environments dispose these kinds of youths to high changes of getting involved in various criminal activities as early as 10 years. Moreover, where traditional institutions such as family, schools, and churches have been broken down, there are often increased incidence of many youths joining criminal gangs and thus, taking to the streets, in order for them to survive. Essentially, Parkes and Conolly (2013) contradict the aforementioned and note that the aforementioned institutions purpose to hold parents, and children together, thereby, disintegrating the effect of their behaviours, especially in urban areas.

Notably, sufficient measures have not been researched, with the aim of stopping BME youth violence in the UK (Clement, 2010). However, certain measures such as stop and search powers have been enforced in the UK through the police, However, over the years, this has been regarded as a controversial measure amongst the youths, as they perceive it to be an oppressive strategy, instead of a preventive one (Franklin, 2012). Of significance, policing in various BME communities have long been successful. Finally, the only flow noticed in the used studies, is that they do not entail up-to-date information, as it is required.

How the proposed research would contribute to existing knowledge

The proposed research would contribute significantly to the existing knowledge by providing a more up-to-date information regarding BME youth violence in the UK. This is owing to the fact that the existing literature focuses on previous trends. For instance, from 2017 to 2019. However, the proposed literature would cover the statistics of youth engagement in crime even in this year (2020). Clearly, this would give the reader a deeper perspective of the subject and would provide the present trend of the situation in the UK. This would thereby, propose a better strategy of dealing with the issue of youth crime in the BME communities.

Proposed methodological approach

According to Creswell (2013), he equates a research design to a study plan that provides a significant data collection framework that outlines the practical procedures for the selection of subjects, research sites, as well as the procedures for data collection, with the ultimate aim of answering the research questions. Qualitative research will be adopted for this study, in order to aid in comprehending various reasons behind youth involvement in crime in UK BME communities, the effects of the violence on the BME youths, and the response from various health workers. Owing to the fact this study covers various deeply-rooted issues in subject communities, it is evident that qualitative research will be considered the most appropriate method to use as it enhances in-depth, as well as further probing questions, which can assist the researcher to uncover and also internalize the motivations and feelings of the subject (Taylor et al., 2015). Notably, youth violence is connected to behavioural, and various perception issues, which only qualitative research methods are able to reveal. In this regard, the nature of the research involved moving to the areas that are affected and thus, deriving real time data from various subjects without having to move them from their geographical locations. Clearly, this ensures that the collected data is involving an actual situation and it is real time. Overall, it is worth noting that qualitative research is most appropriate for this study considering that the research deals with an issue, with is disturbing in the present time, and as such, it purposes to answer a significant social phenomenon (Creswell, 2013).

Proposed Methods

This study will engage 50 participants from 5 London boroughs. The participants to be selected will be between 12-15 years of age and this will be inclusive of school-going youths and those who either had dropped out of school or had purposed to complete a certain level in their education. The study will as well include social workers from the same 5 boroughs, and those selected will have been engaged in various BME communities, whilst providing social services to various troubled youths. All of the selected participants will be subject to telephone interviews, and one-on-one interviews. Evidently, telephone interviews will be considered as it is less costly as compared to one-on-one interviews, owing to the fact that the researcher is not obligated to travel to a given geographical location, in order to interview the study subject. Significantly, a combination of both poses as the best method of data collection as it enables the researcher and the participant to exchange significant information. Interviewing the participants provides the researcher with the advantage of asking any open-ended question, thereby, providing detailed answers to the said research question. Notably, each interview will take between 4 to 6 hours, thereby, enabling the participants to have enough time in answering the questions deeply and providing significant clarifications. Other than writing short replies that the participants will give, the researcher will use digital recorded in capturing the answers to be provided in the course of the interview. Significantly, the interview recordings will aid in providing a permanent and also flexible data storage, which could either be kept online or via cloud storage.

Ethical implications

The participants will be adequately informed regarding the reasons for conducting this research, in addition to any form of risk attached to this particular study. As such, the participants will be given the opportunity of choosing whether they would wish to participate. Moreover, as this study involved minors, who will not be in a position to give their consent, the research will receive a preferably written consent from community leaders, parents, or even guardians responsible for them. In obtaining the parental consent, it will be voluntary, thereby, implying that it will not be induced through any form of promise of a benefit or otherwise. Furthermore, the confidentiality of the collected data will be considered a top priority, in order for hinder third parties from accessing the background information of the participants.

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Briggs, D (2010). True stories from bare times on road: Developing empowerment, Identity, and social capital among urban minority ethnic young people in London, Ethnic & Racial Studies, 33, 5, pp. 851-871.

Clement, M (2010). Teenagers under the knife: a de-civilising process, Journal of Youth Studies, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 439-451.

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage publications

Franklin, M (2012). Understanding research: coping with the quantitative-qualitative divide. London: Routledge

Parkes, J, & Conolly, A (2013). Dangerous encounters? Boys' peer dynamics and neighbourhood risk, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics Of Education, 34, 1, pp. 94-106.

Taylor, S. J., Bogdan, R., & DeVault, M. (2015). Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource. John Wiley & Sons.

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