“The National Youth Agency supports the call upon government to reverse cuts to youth services at as part of the Don’t Stop Your Future campaign fronted by Idris Elba.
Our research report The social cost of youth work cuts: Preventing youth offending through youth work reveals a clear association between reduced funding for youth provision and an increase in some crime rates. Despite this, open access youth service expenditure has been disproportionately affected by austerity cuts.
The negative impact of youth centre closures is reinforced by a PhD study cited in the report which reviewed London youth centre provision. The research found that crime participation amongst 10-15 year olds increased by 10% in those London boroughs affected most by youth centre closures between 2010-2019.
Furthermore, our report highlights that the economic and social burdens of young people entering the youth justice system are huge and are getting worse. It costs four times more for a young person to enter the youth justice system at the age of 16 (£200,000) than it does for them to avoid it (less than £50,000).
It is vital to embed youth work in strategies to tackle the devastating impact of violent crime to enable skilled youth workers to help young people recognise that they can make positive choices about their future lives.”
Listen to the interview with Idris Elba about the campaign on BBC Radio 4 Today at 2:14:00
Director of Policy and Communications