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Teenage Kicks – The value of sport in tackling youth crime

Youth crime and antisocial behaviour cost government at least £4bn a year. One in five young people reports being involved in crime and antisocial behaviour, and there are around 75,000 new entrants into the youth justice system every year. Sports projects are one way of tackling this problem. Everyone can benefit from playing sport, but it can make a particular difference to young people who are difficult to engage in other ways.

Anecdotally, we know that sport can be a powerful tool for tackling youth crime. It can get young people off the streets, out of trouble, engaged in education, and back on track. However, hard evidence is lacking, and without rigorous analysis, it is difficult to make a convincing case for investment.

Economic analysis is a powerful way of valuing and articulating social impact. Measuring outcomes and comparing the costs of problems and solutions can provide valuable insights into what is effective, and speaks in a language that funders understand.

This report applies the principles of economic analysis to three projects that use sport in different ways to tackle crime: Kickz, The Boxing Academy and 2nd Chance. The three projects use sport as the ‘hook’ to engage young people in a wider programme of education and support, and they are all highly effective, providing good value for money.

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