New England and Wales sports fund to tackle youth crime

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Thousands of troubled youngsters will be put back on the right track thanks to a new £5 million fund for crime-cutting sports schemes, the Deputy Prime Minister has announced today (4 November 2022).

Charities across England and Wales will be able to bid for new money to run programmes designed to steer young people away from law-breaking and into positive activities aimed at teaching teamwork, resilience and discipline.

While the number of young people in custody remains at a record low, statistics show around 80% of prolific adult offenders begin committing crimes as children – with the economic and social costs of reoffending costing the taxpayer an estimated £18 billion per year.

The new funding announced today builds on the government’s work to catch and prevent youth offending earlier than ever – helping to prevent these young people becoming involved in crime or anti-social behaviour.

Earlier this year, the Deputy Prime Minister announced the biggest funding package in a generation to tackle youth offending and cut crime, including £60 million for early intervention.

Today’s news also delivers on the commitment made in the Prisons Strategy White Paper – published in December last year – to introduce further measures for early intervention to cut youth crime, keep streets safe and create fewer victims.

Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab, said:

I have seen first-hand how local sports projects can transform the lives of young people from tough backgrounds, getting them off the streets and teaching them life skills including teamwork, discipline, and resilience.

That’s why we’re investing £5 million in innovative sporting schemes up and down the country. It is part of our £300 million investment to support every council across England and Wales in catching and preventing youth offending earlier than ever, making our streets safer.

Charities and organisations wanting to deliver the sports programmes will be able to bid for the money – with hundreds of organisations expected to benefit from the funding.

The Ministry of Justice say it will work closely with its delivery partner – StreetGames and consortium partners the Alliance of Sport in Criminal Justice and the Sport for Development Coalition – to oversee the application process and delivery of the funding.

Stuart Felce, StreetGames Director of Sport and Community Safety, said:

We’re really excited to be partnering with the Sport for Development Coalition and the Alliance of Sport in Criminal Justice to deliver this ambitious new programme from the Ministry of Justice.

These funds are a vote of confidence in the power of sport to provide young people with a positive pathway and to help prevent them from falling into the criminal justice system.

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