How Can Sport and leisure can prevent anti-social behaviour?
• Sport and leisure can engage young people, attracting those at highest risk of anti-social behaviour into more intensive developmental projects.
• Anti-social behaviour cannot be isolated from other social problems: resources must target deprived areas where perceptions of antisocial behaviour are highest.
• Preventive projects are cost-effective. A young person in the criminal justice system costs the taxpayer over £200,000 by the age of 16, but one given support to stay out costs less than £50,000.
• Projects must be accessible, reliable and relevant, and reflect the diversity of young people’s needs.
• Young people value approachable project staff who take an interest in them and offer advice and support.
Two-thirds of the 150 local area agreements signed in 2008 included targets for increasing young people’s participation in positive activities or for reducing the number of first-time entrants into the criminal justice system.
Funding arrangements do not reflect the research evidence about how to change behaviour: too many projects are short term with limited impact.
Consultation with young people about new projects or activities is rare. Consultation with those young people likely to use them is rarer.
Few councils, children’s trusts, or crime and disorder reduction partnerships (CDRPs) know where activities are available or, where there is wasteful duplication or, gaps in provision, or where young people have choice.
Councils, children’s trusts and CDRPs lack the performance data to make intelligent commissioning decisions about new or repeat schemes – 48 per cent of projects did not have evidence of their outcomes.
Only 27 per cent of projects collected evidence in a way that allowed an assessment of value for money.
Over half of the funding for preventive projects comes from central government, but arrangements are complicated and there is little local coordination.A...