Abstract: A public opinion survey of youth crime and justice was conducted with a sample of 496 people in Swansea. Gender and age differences in estimations of youth crime were compared to official and self-reported youth offending statistics nationally and locally. Attitudes to sentencing and preventative measures were evaluated with reference to Swansea's positive, inclusionary approach to young people. Findings indicate that the Swansea public overestimates the extent of youth crime locally, yet it remains ambivalent about appropriate sentencing responses, favouring both punitive and preventative measures. This suggests that local public opinion is shaped by national media and political rhetoric, rather than the local realities of youth offending.