Building on the initial insights from practitioners outlined in the last chapter, in this chapter we share the perspectives of adult members of communities in the west of Scotland who participated in our fieldwork, most of whom were former gang members and some of whom were now working as practitioners. We share the interviewees’ recollections of lived experiences in the housing schemes at a time when territorial gang violence was particularly pronounced, and the factors that enabled them to transition, change and desist. We also share their viewpoints that suggested (like those outlined in the previous chapter) that, as territorial street gang violence has continued to decline in the west of Scotland, other pressing issues – most prominently associated with drug use and drug distribution – have come to the fore.
In the last chapter, we documented how discussions with members of our practitioner sample had drawn our attention to the changing and evolving nature of their organisations’ services in recent years. We began to uncover the contextual backdrop to this in the form of rising poverty rates, an increased prevalence of ACEs and trauma, escalating issues relating to mental ill-health, and increasing levels of drug use, drug distribution, suicide and drug-related deaths. As we referred to in Chapter 2, in our desire to explore these issues further we revisited some of Glasgow’s housing schemes that had been explored by Deuchar (2009a) over a decade earlier, as well as other socially disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the west of Scotland.
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