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Measuring the Impact of Crime Reduction Interventions Involving Sports Activities for Young People

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This article considers the complexity of measuring the impact on crime reduction of different types of intervention with young people, which use the medium of sports activity. It draws on the authors' experience of sports-related programmes. Interventions are categorised using a combination of Brantingham and Faust's (1976) categorisation of programmes as primary, secondary, or tertiary prevention and the mechanism by which the intervention is likely to work ( Pawson and Tilley 1997). This shows that the impact of some types of intervention is not only inherently more difficult to measure, but also demands far more resources to do so. This applies particularly to interventions such as the Youth Justice Board supported summer Splash programmes, which involve casual participation, and target geographical areas rather than individuals. The relationship of the categorisation to the technical and practical difficulties of measuring impact shows that the ideal of evidence-led policy is not easy to achieve, however, using this categorisation, the article makes some suggestions for evaluation methods, based on experience. The article also shows that in some cases the resources required to produce the evidence exceeds those available to many programmes. The implications of this are considered.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield

Publication date: 2004-07-01

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