A survey has shown that children as young as seven are being used by dangerous gangs in Male’, Clinical Psychologist Dr Aishath Ali Naaz has revealed.
Speaking at a meeting held to brief police on gang violence, Dr Naaz explained the results of the survey, showing that there are 20 to 30 active gangs across five districts in Male’.
She told police that these gangs consist of 50 to 400 members and include children and youth, most below the age of 25.
Dr Naaz, who met gang members to gather information required for the survey, said that the children not only obey orders from older gang members, but also get involved in crime.
“They get involved in gang activities as they do not have anything to do and have the time to spare. They obey older gang members, this is something I was saddened about,” Dr Naaz added.
According to Dr Nazz, political parties and businessmen funded gang activities, and that most of the youth involved in these gangs do it to earn a living.
The meeting was attended by Assistant Commissioner of Police Mohamed Sodig, Assistant Commissioner of Police Hassan Habeeb, police commanding officers and several police officers.