Gang members trust those whom they've shared incriminating information about violent acts more than their own family members, according to a new study by researchers at Oxford University in England.
The researchers analyzed police phone surveillance recordings made in the 1990s of an Italian gang operating near Naples, Italy and a Russian gang operating near Rome. About 1,700 communications between gang members were studied.
For the study, researchers converted the recordings into a series of network matrices and used multivariate quadratic assignment procedure to examine the data.
While recruiting family members creates greater co-operation between law-breakers, researchers found that sharing information about violence can create an even stronger bond.
Their analysis found increasing cooperation among those who had shared illicit information on later, unrelated and sometimes non-violent, tasks.
The full study is available for purchase HERE.