Aye. Scouting ‘rings’ through the streets allows you to easily sidestep or avoid thugs blocking the way. If you can avoid dealing with thugs then that means that the opponent has to pay more for each subsequent one on the board!
Truancy officers evict everyone in a building. The only thing that can stop them, barring gangs or thugs in the way, is a saboteur trap. To avoid hitting those you can try and trap the building yourself. If it’s trapped, your saboteur will get knocked out for the turn and you’ll have a clear run for the truancy officer. If it’s not trapped then you’ll trap it making it even more difficult for your opponent to take back on their turn. Of course, saboteurs cost three coins and truancy officers eight after you’ve unlocked them so it’s quite costly to evict an entire building. Even more so to then pop an urchin in there! But the free truancy officer is a mid-game gift to cause trouble!
Gangs can only evict more than one urchin if they’re upgraded to do so. I’ve never managed to get ‘eviction gangs’ working but I try every now and then! They could be the stuff of nightmares if protected, but protected by who when they’re on their own…?
The blocks of buildings or districts are set in stone, but the position of each building on each block is randomised so you never really know where things are until you start scouting. Have a look at the screenshots @lordkosc and I have posted above to get an idea!