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Dawes Unit research

Catch22 Dawes Unit research addresses the problems caused by gangs and explores how best to prevent gang involvement and support those looking to exit.

Below is a library of research carried out by the Catch22 Dawes Unit to date.

Social Media

Social Media as a Catalyst and Trigger for Youth Violence

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This report focuses on the link between young people’s use of social media and youth violence. By highlighting the ways in which social media is acting as a catalyst and trigger for serious incidents of violence, it provides a springboard for action for a range of stakeholders.



Catch22 Dawes Unit Safer Schools (Cover)Safer Schools: Keeping gang culture outside the gates

Full report

This report by Catch22 Dawes Unit explores the extent and ways in which pupil gang involvement raises challenges for schools and identifies best practice for schools in responding to these challenges.



Gang involvement and missing young people

Catch22 Dawes Unit Running the Risk (Cover)

Running the Risks: The links between gang-involvement and young people going missing

Full report

This report provides evidence of gang-involved young people going missing as they are caught up in ‘drug lines’ & recruited to sell drugs away from home. This can lead to children and young people going missing.



Dawes Unit Gangs in Prison cover

Gangs in prison: The nature and impact of gang involvement among prisoners

Full report

This study explores how prisoners considered to be involved in gangs in the community develop associations and allegiances in a London-based prison. It examines the nature of gangs in prison, their impact on the regime and the possibilities for violence reduction and rehabilitation.


Catch22-approach-to-managing-addressing-gang-involvement-in-prison-COVERThe Catch22 approach to managing and addressing gang involvement in prison


This leaflet describes the Catch22 prison gangs service; a targeted service that is embedded in the prison regime.






Family matters: A snapshot of the support available for families of gang-involved young people in the UK


Research looking a publicly-funded family support services within the local authority areas identified as having the highest levels of gang and youth violence (as part of the government’s Ending Gang and Youth Violence programme), within the context of the Troubled Families programme criteria.


Catch22 approach to working with familiesThe Catch22 approach to working with families of gang-involved young people (July 2013)


A policy paper drawing on research conducted by London Metropolitan University, along with the experience of Catch22’s work with young people and their families, outlining new ways of working with the families of gang-involved young people, including specific recommendations for practice.


The role of the family

The role of the family in facilitating gang membership, criminality and exit (June 2013)

Full report

Prepared with London Metropolitan University, this report examines the role of the family in gang formation, criminality and gang exit in order to inform best practice for practitioners working with gang-involved families.



Violence prevention health promotion

Violence prevention, health promotion: a public health approach to tackling youth violence (October 2013)

Full report

This report by Catch22 Dawes Unit and MHP Health provides the first comprehensive analysis of the extent to which new Health and Wellbeing boards are recognising youth and gang violence as a public health concern. The analysis focuses on 33 areas (60% in London), identified by the Government as having the most serious problems associated with gang and youth violence.



Mobilising communities to address gang violence

Mobilising communities to address gang violence (July 2013)

Full report

Communities have long been recognised as playing an important part in building resistance to gangs and suppressing gang violence. This report looks at what is meant by community mobilisation, why it matters in preventing and reducing gang violence and at 12 common elements of effective approaches.


Education and employability


Whole school approaches

Whole school approaches to tackling gang involvement (February 2013)

Full paper
Blog: What can schools do to prevent gang involvement?

Currently most gang prevention and intervention work in schools is focused on short-term, targeted, group work programmes. This research indicates that creating a positive ‘school climate’ and nurturing young people’s sense of attachment and commitment to school can also have a powerful effect on protecting against gang involvement.

Exit and enterprise

Gang exit and enterprise

Exit and enterprise: the role of enterprise in supporting young people’s gang exit (September 2012)

Full report
Blog: Gang issues and a crowded political agenda

This report explores the extent to which enterprise – ranging from established multi-million pound to youth-led enterprises – can assist with gang exit, an area of critical importance, especially when considered in alignment with the current labour market. The report also looks at what resources are currently available, and what can be learnt from using enterprise in an effective way.


Healthy relationships

HEART evaluation

The HEART programme: final evaluation report (March 2013)

Full report
Blog: Sexual exploitation and violence: working with young men

The Dawes Unit was commissioned by the Metropolitan Police to evaluate HEART: a programme designed to reduce the risk of young women either committing or being subject to serious violence, particularly gang-related and sexual violence.