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  Violent gangs have affected our lives
Updated 01 March 2004, 10.25
Silhouette of a child
Femi and Tanya have both felt the effect of violent gangs on their life.

Femi joined a gang because he wanted to feel part of something. But last year he was arrested with several gang members for robbery.

He was tagged and sentenced to a supervision and surveillance programme and left the gang.

"We used to spend our time robbing cars, robbing heads, burglaries and GBH. I just felt as long as I'd be getting money out of it I'd be doing it," Femi said.

My punishment made me realise the error of my ways and it actually helped me mature a bit more.

If I had one regret it would be intimidating the people I robbed - making them feel real small and hurting them and that.

Punching and kicking and rushing them and that - whatever I did to them that would be the one thing I'd say sorry for."

Femi

Tanya's not in a gang but was attacked by three girls on her way home.

"I was left with scars from an attack by a gang of three girls. I've got a scar on my nose, scars on my back and scars on my hand.

They robbed my mobile phone, my purse with 10 in it and my chain which was worth 200.

My chain was very precious to me because it came from my uncle who has now passed away.

Now when I'm out on the street I never take my wallet out in front of a big group of people just in case one of them wants to snatch it."

Tanya


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