The ‘Street Games’ Athletic Intervention to Reduce Youth Crime Essay


In July of 2019, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan introduced a £1m funding into sports activities initiatives round essentially the most impoverished areas of the town, with the actual function of concentrating on youth crime and supporting these liable to it (Mayor of London, 2019). Youth crime is a severe difficulty in a megapolis corresponding to London, significantly in wards with excessive ranges of crime charges. With this announcement, and the creation of the mayor’s Steering Group to handle the difficulty within the city heart, the function of sport in combatting the youth crime epidemic was thrown into the highlight. There is common consensus and anecdotal proof suggesting that sport-based interventions, significantly these which might be competently designed across the wants and needs of younger folks, are efficient. This paper will discover the connection between youth crime and athletics, after which search to develop the ‘Street Games’ athletic intervention primarily based on themes promoted by the Sport England technique and theories of change in bettering communities.

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Youth crime within the context of this paper will probably be outlined as egregious violations of the regulation and violence towards the individual acts by folks aged 10 to 24 years. Youth crime is a severe social difficulty in London, affecting specifically the poorest areas of the town. Between 2012 and 2017, the variety of beneath 25-year-olds has doubled to 64 yearly. The variety of stabbing fatalities has been going up 12 months over 12 months since 2014 to roughly 81 fatalities in 2018. Deaths linked to legal gangs is steadily growing reaching 44 in 2018 (BBC News, 2019). Last few years have additionally proven different crimes turning into a problem corresponding to drug offences and theft, accounting for greater than 41% of charged offences whereas violence towards the individual is simply at 20% (Clarke, 2021). Urban youth crime in London has been related to poverty, with Richmond upon Thames having the bottom ranges of crime whereas being prosperous, whereas Tower Hamlets maintains one of many highest charges as on of the poorest boroughs in all of England (Bentham, 2019).

While no affiliation has been discovered between youth crime and gender or ethnicity, there are threat elements which might be positively related to youth and gang violence. These embrace private elements corresponding to antagonistic childhood and troublesome psychological well being, in addition to group and societal threat elements corresponding to discrimination and financial inequality (Haylock et al., 2020). Another examine factors out whereas the connection between race and crime within the UK over the past many years is exaggerated, there’s proof of over-representation of African-Caribbean and Mixed Heritage, who determine as Black, within the gang crime in London (Pitts, 2020). In the event of interventions and options, this issue could also be necessary to think about from a cultural perspective.

Connection Between Athletics and Youth Delinquency

Participation in sports activities actions is extremely widespread and incessantly inspired amongst youth, with varied psychosocial well being advantages attributed to this. With adolescence, youth grow to be extra autonomous, with affect shifting from the house surroundings to that of peer and leisure setting. At this cut-off date, there are ongoing modifications in habits, resulting in peaks of delinquent habits. Therefore, scholarly analysis focuses on the connection between sports activities participation and juvenile delinquency, significantly in the course of the interval of adolescence. Various theories assist the ideology that sports activities participation can result in lesser juvenile delinquency. For instance, Hirschi’s social bond principle means that people with bonds to society are much less prone to have interaction in legal habits. As a part of the idea, additionally assist by different students, there are 4 components the place sports activities participation has a optimistic affect. These embrace attachment (group), dedication (to sports activities and avoiding actions that will jeopardize it), involvement (no time for delinquency), and beliefs (in social values inside context of the game) (Spruit et al., 2016).

Sport-based interventions for prevention of delinquent behaviors in at-risk youth have been utilized by native and governments and establishments around the globe. The interventions don’t assume that the sports activities participation itself prevents delinquency, however somewhat it offers alternatives for studying, social bonds, and value-building within the context of athletics which then can contribute to optimistic habits and a lower in delinquent habits. For instance, students have offered that when youth take part in sports activities, they’re studying to obey guidelines and authority, attaining values corresponding to morality, self-control, battle decision, and cooperation (Spruit et al., 2017). There is a well-liked perception that “sport builds character” and that’s supported by the optimistic traits, abilities, and virtues. Athletes be taught judgment of what’s proper and mistaken primarily based on guidelines of the game. There can also be dedication to inside targets and requirements, in addition to the lesson of competing actually and pretty (Spruit et al., 2016). Sports packages have been profitable in bettering social outcomes for youth and the group. Participation in sports activities packages decreases dangers elements for youth crime whereas growing protecting elements for optimistic improvement as seen within the graphic under (Eugene Civic Alliance, 2018).

Figure 1: Factors influenced by sports activities participation and juvenile delinquency (Eugene Civic Alliance, 2018).

In conclusion, there are combined findings on whether or not sport actions have a concrete affect on lowering youth crime and delinquency. However, even when doesn’t totally accomplish that, interventions aimed toward partaking at-risk youth has some advantages. First, it offers some factor of engagement and competitors, protecting the youth off the streets for at the very least a part of the time with ongoing practices and competitors. Furthermore, character constructing together with optimistic function fashions within the types of coaches {and professional} athletes supporting such initiatives can probably positively affect, even when a minor share of the youth. In both case, such social interventions are universally supported by public and specialists as higher options than incarceration in reforming troubled youth.

Proposed Intervention

The proposed intervention is called Street Games, an interesting marketable title which encompasses the spirit of athletics however displays the character of their location. Street Games is proposed to be an intensive league of competitors between varied boroughs of London in various kinds of sports activities and athletics (each particular person and team-based). Based on a league-type format, every London space (the town will probably be break up into 4 or 5 areas) could have a number of groups overseen by a coach. These groups compete towards one another bi-weekly. The finest groups then go to a city-wide competitors held by-annually (one indoors in winter, and one outside in summer time) sponsored by the town and business sponsors. Both individuals and winners obtain totally different variations of prizes primarily based on their success.

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Street Games will deal with the preferred sports activities and athletics amongst London youth, but additionally ones which might be simply adaptable and could be practiced in neighborhoods that will lack the infrastructure. These could embrace basketball (streetball), skateboarding, observe, avenue variations of soccer, desk tennis, stickball, dodgeball, avenue hockey, and even chess, amongst others for which there’s demand. Teams will probably be recruited via faculties, group facilities, public promoting, and naturally, phrase of mouth. Anyone can take part and produce others. Youth can take part in a number of sports activities if time permits. Each sport could have a volunteer or paid coach. However, to proceed participation, youth will probably be inspired via varied means to take care of attendance each in class (if relevant), job (if relevant) and apply classes as nicely.

Street Games will try to place itself as a ‘street-friendly’ and ‘cool’ athletic engagement selling pleasant competitors. The goal to make it interesting and supply all kinds of choices for a lot of sports activities and all talent ranges. The premise is that youth seeing their associates take part and common approval from the group will want to take part as nicely, particularly with the chance to win prizes corresponding to money, iPhones, or model identify sneakers amongst others which might be really enticing to the age group. Furthermore, these with athletic expertise and that obtain some success may also earn the popularity of their friends, filling a basic want for becoming in that will have in any other case been stuffed by crime. The attraction of Street Games is that may additionally convey youth and communities collectively. Even those that don’t take part or are on lower-tier groups, can nonetheless cheer on and attend totally free the native and citywide competitions. Therefore, for instance, boroughs can compete with one another in a sport-related surroundings somewhat than partaking in gang-related turf violence.

Overall, Street Games are supposed to be a model of mini-Olympics. Ever because the Olympic Games in London of 2012 there was elevated publicity of London youth to athletics and the which means {of professional} competitors. The intervention is extremely useful because it covers many components of the Sport England technique mentioned under in addition to contributing to engagement, group constructing, and selling wholesome and authorized existence. Due to its format, it may be used to advertise varied different packages and values, starting from coach interactions with athletes to parental involvement to providing alternatives in each athletics and schooling for this youth. Through these varied avenues, the potential for youth involvement will increase whereas theoretically, youth delinquency ought to lower.

Sport England Strategy Themes

The Street Games intervention touches on all themes of the Sport England Strategy, however relates significantly nicely to 2 pillars: connecting communities and optimistic experiences for youngsters and youth.

According to the Sport England Strategy, sports activities are important to “develop confidence and self-worth, and assist create extra resilient, inclusive, and linked neighborhoods. The group notes that athletics can contribute to the native economic system, offering jobs, assist in integration of social teams, deal with delinquent behaviors, and reply to frequent threats corresponding to local weather change. Sports permit to create a community of trusted sports activities golf equipment and group organizations which enhance lives and strengthen communities (Sport England, 2021). Meanwhile, for optimistic experiences, the group argues that such at an early age can construct foundations for an energetic, wholesome life. It contributes to sense of confidence in addition to psychological and bodily wellbeing, being extremely profound for some youngsters. Active optimistic existence contribute to happiness, social belief, and resilience (Sport England, 2021).

The Street Games extremely resonates with these pillars. First, for optimistic experiences, this system is aimed toward offering entry and alternatives for youth to take part in varied athletics in secure, organized environments with their friends. It offers the tasks of bodily and talent improvement throughout apply mixed with the fun and resilience of competitors. It is a league that’s each aggressive however open to everybody. It prioritizes optimistic social experiences and the spirit of the game. Youth are launched to organized sports activities inside contexts the place it’s secure, they usually have the chance to have interaction in constant athletic actions outdoors of house and college.

Meanwhile, group constructing is a important facet of Street Games as emphasised within the description. One of the main goals, is thru the facility of sport to convey folks collectively as athletes, followers, supporters. If the dimensions of the intervention grows, it’s going to have an financial affect locally as jobs will probably be created with teaching, refereeing, and organizer positions as nicely the involvement of native sponsors with promoting and enterprise income. Overall, via the competitors, neighborhoods will be capable to assist their groups, empowering youth and presenting the distinctive identification and cultures of every borough. Street Games is an intervention inherently primarily based on making a community of group sport groups which goal troubled youth, and thru such serving to communities to be extra energetic and linked.

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Theory of Change

The Theory of Change is a complete description of how and why a desired change is predicted to happen in a selected context. Below is a fundamental logic mannequin define for the Street Games intervention.

What is the issue that must be solved? Increased ranges of youth crime and delinquency within the London city space. If youth had entry to organized actions and good function fashions via mediums corresponding to sports activities, then it might result in higher optimistic engagement and decreased delinquency in poorest neighborhoods.
What will change in the long run?
What will change within the medium time period?
What will change within the brief time period?
Reduced youth crime and improved adolescent habits. Improved alternatives for city youth to have interaction in wholesome habits and actions. Program entry to athletics not generally accessible for poor city youth. Community consciousness.

  • Youth crime ranges and violence ranges decreased.
  • Safer neighborhoods.
  • Lower ranges of police intervention and detainment. with youth involvement.

  • Increased participation in group athletic packages.
  • Reduced unhealthy private and social behaviors (medication, gangs)

  • Enrollment of youth
  • Community acceptance and adoption.
  • Engagement and curiosity will draw consideration from crime.
What is being completed to result in change?
What is invested within the venture?
  • Massive organizational efforts to garner funding in addition to group assist via private and non-private partnerships.
  • Establishing the preliminary structural framework, permitting groups to kind for the preferred sports activities.
  • Attracting youth by providing incentives to take part.
  • Volunteer and dealing hours.
  • Public and personal funding.
  • Organizational and minor bodily infrastructure.
  • Community consciousness campaigns.
  • Program improvement.

  • Number of sponsors and organizations working with Street Games.
  • Number of groups and individuals shaped.
  • Conversion charge of youth who select to take part and stay with this system.

  • Number of employees and volunteers recruited.
  • Raised funds.
  • Investments in pound sterling into native communities.
  • Rate of enrollment by group youth and members.

Expected Mechanisms of Change

The difficulty of youth crime in city London is inherently complicated, stemming from a variety of financial, societal, political, and cultural points. Therefore, an answer shouldn’t be easy, and neither would an intervention, even one as complete as Street Games, probably result in huge change. However, if efficient, even in a small minority of youth and communities, it might result in significant reform. Street Games as an intervention depends on varied mechanisms of change, a few of which have been already mentioned, to implement change. Two main ones are elevated social assist and the group capability constructing which might be anticipated to be strengthened by youth participation within the league athletics. The created social bonds and the overall assist of the group in taking part in an athletic program will lead to psychosocial wellbeing, data of safety methods, and resilience within the adolescent. Furthermore, common group attitudes could shift in the direction of embracing and supporting youth as an alternative of prosecuting and alienating them additional. It will create a optimistic framework of engagement and interplay via the lens of sport. Street Games may even goal at offering youth with private abilities that function mechanisms of change to their habits, corresponding to stress administration, emotional regulation, drawback fixing, and communication, amongst others. It might be able to fill the varied psychosocial wants and controls essential to keep away from delinquent habits.


Sport is a robust device for peace and group constructing. As a part of its efforts within the Doha Declaration, the UNODC has launched world initiatives for utilizing sport as a way of youth crime prevention. Meanwhile, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development emphasizes the contribution of sport to constructing peace as a result of it might promote tolerance and respect, whereas empowering each people and communities as an entire. Sport additionally serves as a important gateway to different necessary societal elements corresponding to well being, schooling, and social inclusion (UNODC, n.d.). Since youth are the first individuals within the proposed Street Games intervention, in addition they function inherent brokers of change of their native communities. Not solely are they in a position to purchase data and life abilities that probably positively influences them and prevents anti-social habits, however they exhibit accountability which might serve to lift consciousness and promote civic values in others. The intention is that it has a domino impact, with youth inspiring each other, thus making a cohesive and secure group that reduces delinquency in any respect ranges.


Youth crime is a severe rising difficulty in London, with seemingly no efficient answer. However, scholarly proof factors to some effectiveness of sports-based group packages in addressing youth delinquency, both on the private or group ranges. An intervention is proposed beneath the identify Street Games which affords a league-based strategy to numerous street-based athletics. It encompasses two pillars of the Sport England Strategy, that are optimistic experiences and group constructing. The strategy is regarded as efficient attributable to varied mechanisms of change that it might affect the group. Overall, there are alternatives for Street Games to affect communities and cut back youth crime in London boroughs.


BBC News. (2018) ‘Poverty link’ to youth violence – London mayor. BBC News. Web.

Bentham, M. (2019) ‘Children and teenagers behind half of London knife crime, police figures reveal.’ Evening Standard. Web.

Clarke, N. (2021) ‘London youth crime figures have fallen over the last five years.’ SWLondoner. Web.

Eugene Civic Alliance. (2018) Preventing juvenile delinquency via sports activities. Web.

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Haylock, S., Boshari, T., Alexander, E.C., Kumar, A., Manikam, L. and Pinder, R. (2020) ‘Risk factors associated with knife-crime in United Kingdom among young people aged 10–24 years: a systematic review.’ BMC Public Health. Web.

Mayor of London. (2019) Mayor invests £1m in energy of sport to sort out severe youth violence. Web.

Pitts, J. (2020) ‘Black young people and gang involvement in London.’ Youth Justice, 20(1-2), pp.146–158.

Sport England. (2021) Uniting the motion. Web.

Spruit, A., van Vugt, E., van der Put, C., van der Stouwe, T. and Stams, G.-J. (2015) ‘Sports participation and juvenile delinquency: a meta-analytic review.’ Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45(4), pp.655–671. Web.

Spruit, A., van der Put, C., van Vugt, E. and Stams, G.J. (2017) ‘Predictors of intervention success in a sports-based program for adolescents at risk of juvenile delinquency.’ International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 62(6), pp.1535–1555. Web.

UNODC. (n.d.) Crime prevention via sports activities. Web.

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