Crime Reduction through Sport

The Partnership secured funding from the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner via Home Office

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Consultation with Hertfordshire Constabulary shows there are several youth engagement programmes being implemented at local policing level, but on inspection many of these lack an evidence base or clear referral pathway. As a result, the Partnership secured funding from the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner via Home Office funding associated to the statutory duty placed on the County Council around Serious Violence to further develop the Crime Reduction through Sport work.

Whilst this work does not seek to replace existing programmes, it aims to enhance service provision through a joined-up approach using evidence-based methodologies, alignment of professional practice, meaningful evaluation and improved access by young people to ensure that the Hertfordshire community sport sector is providing well designed, targeted, and accessible sporting activity in areas where criminal behaviour has been identified.

Data gathered from the Hertfordshire Community Sports Audit will:

  1. Provide an overview of the current depth and breadth of youth community sport provision that currently exists across Hertfordshire. 
  2. Identify the level (primary, secondary, or tertiary) of youth community sport intervention that each organisation currently provides; and 
  3. Analyse youth community sport provision in the context of identified vulnerabilities known to be associated with an increased likelihood of involvement in violent crime as either a victim or perpetrator. 

Findings from the Audit will then be used to establish where provision currently exists, and where new opportunities would be of most benefit to those most vulnerable and in need of purposeful activities.

The audit tool will provide a dynamic tool that commissioners, and it is hoped in time, referral organisations, can understand what sessions voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations are delivering for young people aged between 10 – 25 years old in their local areas. Specifically, these are organisations that operate in the ‘Sport for Good’ sector, where the use of sport which focuses on improving quality of life, tackling social exclusion, increasing access, preserving the environment, and expanding the pursuit of excellence, rather than sport organisations who focus solely on competition performance. 

Working with and promoting these groups and organisations, whilst ensuring their local grounding and position is not compromised, is critical to the success of community sport being an effective intervention tool to reducing serious violence, whilst at the same time furthers the work of the relaunched Crime Reduction through Sport Board. It is hoped that through this work, we will be able to commission some specific activities associated to using sport as a vehicle to reduce crime/disorder or to act as a prevention tool.

This comprehensive understanding and commitment to realising the potential of the community sport sector is aligned to work being undertaken in several regions across the country. The continuing pursuit of advancing the evidence base for effective delivery along with building trust and confidence in the sports sector remains core to the work of Herts Sport & Physical Activity Partnership, StreetGames, Hertfordshire Constabulary and other partners involved in this area of work. 

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