According to the Canadian Police Survey on Youth Gangs in Canada, there's an estimated 7,000 Canadian youth in 434 gangs, located throughout the country. Almost half of those members are under the age of 18.
For teens, recruitment into gangs is a complex issue, with every member joining for their own reasons. Gangs can provide a sense of security or belonging for some, a social community for others or access to drugs and alcohol. And some may see it as the only means of making an income if they have few prospects in education and work.
Public Safety Canada has studied youth gangs in Canada and has compiled a list of factors which may prevent gang involvement.