This report by Dr Holly Collison-Randall from Loughborough University London covers her research exploring knife crime in the UK. Collinson-Randall designed a two-phase research programme targeting selected sports programmes in the UK. The research had four overall aims: explore the nature of sports programmes focused on tackling knife crime; evaluate the effectiveness of the programmes; share best practices to help develop such programmes; and extend the programmes by providing action-based recommendations.

The report shares detail on the two phases of the research which were both supported by Impact Partnerships Fund, part of the Mayor of London’s Sports Unites and Young Londoners Fund for sports projects for at-risk youths. The first phase of research involved 30 participants with 28 UK projects completing the Program Quality Assessment for Youth Sports survey. The second phase involved in-depth virtual interviews with coaches and managers of six such projects based in London.

Collison-Randall presents two key evidence-based approaches: sport as an intervention should be hyper-localised and placed at the centre of a model that recognises the need for a safe, stable and accessible ‘space’ for the execution of a (preferably informal) programme; and this intervention must be made with a thorough understanding of the physical, social, economic, emotional, and psychological ‘place’ in which at risk youth find themselves.

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