Tackling youth crime: building the evidence for what really works

By Dr Jane O'Brien | 17 September 2019

Youth crime and violence has a devastating impact on too many young people’s lives – both as perpetrators and victims. But tackling this can’t be left to the police and criminal justice system alone, and there are no quick fixes. To deal with youth crime effectively we need to use a much wider lens and take a longer-term ‘public health’ approach. This involves a multi-agency, cross cutting sector collaboration to identify children and young people most at risk of becoming involved in serious crime and intervening early on to keep them safe and prevent them from ever carrying a knife or falling in with a gang.

The Youth Endowment Fund is a crucial part of delivering this multi-agency, long-term, prevention-based approach through testing what works to address the risk factors that are associated with crime – the early signals and decisions that can lead to more serious criminal behaviour further down the line. In short, the Youth Endowment Fund is a bold attempt to put early intervention at the heart of efforts to keep children and young people away from involvement in crime.

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Public health Gangs Youth services Children's services