Alliance of Sport launches new Taskforce
The Alliance of Sport is proud to announce the launch of the Taskforce on Physical Activity and Sport in the Criminal Justice System.
According to Sport England, community sport and activity generated £85.5 billion of social and economic value in England and ‘every £1 spent on sport and physical activity generates an economic and social value of £3.91’. It is also recognised in the UK Government’s Beating Crime Plan that targeted and well evidenced sport-based interventions are one of many positive activities needed to cut crime.
However, despite a growing body of evidence and recognition, there remains a gap in the leadership and coordination of efforts that, at present, inhibits the full and effective integration of physical activity and sport across communities, health and criminal justice.
During meetings of the All-Party-Parliamentary Group on Sport and Physical Activity in the Criminal Justice System earlier this year, the then Prisons Minister pledged his full support for strengthening the use of sport in criminal justice. Further, the then Safeguarding Minister challenged the APPG to provide leadership and coordination to help build the evidence base.
Now, with support from NHS England and NHS Improvement, and chaired by Baroness Sater, we have created this Taskforce to provide strategic guidance and a ‘go-to’ for government, so that physical activity and sport-based interventions play a more central and coordinated role in beating crime and tackling health inequalities for people involved in, and on the fringes of, the Criminal Justice System.
Our initial focus is on creating a plan and vision for how the physical activity and sport sector can work more effectively with the Criminal Justice System. The plan will demonstrate how money can be saved and spent more effectively and how partnerships and collaboration can be maximised to support learning and development. It will also aim to enhance quality assurance and explore opportunities to deliver and evaluate long-term outcomes.
Baroness Sater, Taskforce Chair, said: “I am delighted to have been asked to chair this Taskforce. For too long the physical activity and sport sector has been disjointed and not meeting its full potential. Through our All-Party Parliamentary Group meetings on Sport and Physical Activity in the Criminal Justice System, the need for greater leadership, coordination and a robust evidence base has become clear.
“The Taskforce will be well placed to respond to this challenge so that more people can benefit from getting active, increasing their wellbeing and receiving the support they need to live positive and healthy lives.”
James Mapstone, Alliance of Sport Chief Executive, said: “This is an ambitious project, and we thank our sponsors for the trust they have placed in us. Together we will identify priorities and areas for greater collaboration. We will also continue working closely with our partners to complement and enhance efforts to unite the physical activity and sport sector and adopt a more coordinated and quality-assured approach to building a robust evidence base derived from delivering and evaluating longer-term outcomes.”
The Taskforce will seek the input and views of industry stakeholders and will share opportunities for engagement through both the AoS and partner websites and social media channels.