Originally Posted by c1atsite
here in America, if you look at litigation, you'll often see "State of Wisconsin v. blahblahblah person" for example. So entire states are able to press charges
That doesn't mean the citizens of that state voted to sue them or whatever--it's like People v. Whoever, it just means that the district attorney's office, at least ostensibly on behalf of the people, initiated the proceedings, which is the case is criminal proceedings. Such a case has either already been investigated by the police (which is generally initiated by the victim's police report, though sometimes it starts in other ways like a bystander report or 911 call), or the victim bypassed the police and convinced the district attorney's office to file the charges.
I believe that in the UK, and in those former British territories that didn't shoot back such as Australia, the equivalent of "People v. Whoever" is "Crown v. Whoever" because of different underlying assumptions about who is represented by government actions such as initiating criminal proceedings. (Things I learned from watching JAG.)
Now, the community could pass the hat to retain a lawyer to sue the gang members in civil court (e.g. Judge Judy), with those members of the community who can show damages (such as vandalism) as the plaintiffs; however, penalties in civil court are generally financial only, unless anyone committs flat-out dumbassery of a level that constitutes contempt of court in which case they can be imprisoned for a limited amount of time.
Theoretically, it would be possible for the community to petition the district attorney (or equivalent) to file charges without the victim's official complaint, however to the best of my understanding such a case would be unlikely to be successful because the effect on the victim's state of mind is critical to harassment cases, and you really can't get that without victim testimony.
Final disclaimer: I Am Not A Lawyer; my legal training is from Perry Mason, Matlock, Judge Judy, People's Court, JAG, Judging Amy, Law and Order, etc., and I'm pretty sure you can't pass the bar exam with a JD-by-Barcalounger.