Supporting young people at risk of crime through sport – Call for Evidence

Deadline: 15 March 2023

The CSJ’s Criminal Justice Unit is launching a call for evidence to understand how sport and physical activity can be harnessed to divert young people away from crime, providing positive pathways into education, employment or training.

Our landmark polling revealed that 45% of children aged 10 to 17 have experienced youth antisocial behaviour; and over half of parents are concerned about their child’s safety travelling home from school.

Though rare, teenage homicide in London reached it deadliest peak in 2021, with 30 teens murdered in the capital1. While overall crime is on a downward trend, violent crime has been steadily increasing as a proportion of youth offending over the last ten years and now accounts for 32% of all youth offences2. Around 50,000 people aged 10 to 17 were arrested last year.

Meanwhile, investment in prevention – including activities designed to keep young people out of trouble – has decreased substantially in recent years. For example, there has been a 70% real-term decline in local authority spend on youth services since 2010, with more than 4,500 youth work jobs cut and 760 youth centres shut down.

Despite the growing body of evidence to support the role of sport in crime desistance it is still not being utilised to its fullest potential by the Government.

Who can take part in the call for evidence?

We want to canvass views across a range of stakeholders including but not limited to sports clubs, national governing bodies, local authorities, violence reduction units, academics, prison and probation services, policing, schools, the charity sector, and people with lived experience of antisocial behaviour, youth violence, or the criminal justice system.

We are particularly interested in hearing from young people themselves. If you or your organisation is able to facilitate this, please indicate that in the ‘staying in contact’ section below.

Contact information

Engaging young people in sport and physical activity

A theory of change for sport and crime prevention

Policy change

*Please note that we are particularly interested in innovative proposals / cost-effective solutions that take account of the current economic climate.

Additional comments

Staying in contact

Are you happy to be contacted for further comment/engagement?(Required)
Do you wish your submission to remain anonymous?(Required)
We would like to put the voices of young people front and centre of our research. To help us do that, are you willing to be contacted about opportunities for young people to share their views/thoughts/experiences?(Required)

Please submit your response to by 15th January 2022. Please contact Sabrina by email if you have any questions.

  1. knife-rises-in-london-with-30-teen-homicides-in-2021
  2. Youth_Justice_Statistics_2020-21.pdf

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