Introduction

“Youth crime harms communities, creates a culture of fear and damages the lives of some of our most vulnerable young people.”

(source: www.homeoffice.gov.uk)

 

This idea of the creation of a ‘culture of fear’ is highly evident in the media; if you were to read any national newspaper for example – chances are you would come across the latest story of an incident involving troublesome ‘youths’ / ‘yobs’ / ‘hoodies’.
Research identifies some of the major risk factors that increase the chances of young people committing crimes. These are:

  • troubled home life
  • poor attainment at school, truancy and school exclusion
  • drug or alcohol misuse and mental illness
  • deprivation such as poor housing or homelessness
  • peer group pressure

“Social exclusion comes with a big price tag – not only for the individual young people who are affected but for their communities and the economy as well. And the costs go beyond the financial: there are also hard-to-quantify costs such as the loss of potential and the long-term, emotional toil of unfulfilled ambitions.”

(Source: The Cost of Exclusion: Counting the cost of youth disadvantage in the UK)

With such issues in mind Thames Valley Partnership have worked alongside Creative Junction to deliver a change programme; a series of projects and workshops which have employed creative intervention as a means of tackling various issues affecting young people today in the local community.