Second-in-line to the throne Prince William has revealed how he held secret meetings with former gang members in a bid to gain an insight into street violence.
In his first major newspaper article, the Prince – who turned 27 on Sunday - writes how many youngsters are striving for "respect" adding the country's challenge is to "turn gang members into team members."
"Former gang members have told me that it is precisely to find status, respect from others and the role in a community that we all crave that led them to fall in with gangs in the first place," says the royal, who was able to conduct the meetings thanks to his links with two charities.
"Essentially, they (gangs) allow the individual to belong. As such, the fundamental difference – so far as I can see – between violent street gangs and cohesive teams of contented young people is the destructive violence of the former set against the constructive comradeship of the latter."
"The challenge, therefore, seems to me to be to how turn gang members into team members"
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