European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice 20 (2012) 165180 brill.com/eccl Elke Van Hellemont* Leuven Institute of Criminology, Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium 1. Introduction Using the Brussels black African gangs as an example, this article aims to prove that gang members nowadays take advantage of the new possibilities offered by technological innovation, such as the internet and more specifically weblogs, to communicate `gang-ness'. In recent years, Brussels, the Belgian capital, has witnessed the rise of several troublesome youth gangs, among which black African youth gangs have attracted most attention. Made up of migrants predominantly coming from the African Great Lakes Region, the Belgian police estimate that at least 13 black African gangs are active in Brussels, each with approximately 2050 members. Their gang labels allude to skin colour, such as `Black Demolition', to the neighbourhood surrounding the subway station of the same name, such as `Anneessens' or to postal codes of Brussels municipalities such as `1140', `1070 style', `1050 Staff'. Although members are held responsible for extortion, drug trafficking and violent robberies, the foremost distinctive feature of black African gangs is their involvement in public black-on-black fights involving excessive violence, stabbings and occasionally homicides.
European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2012
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