Positive Futures

Positive Futures, the national social action and crime prevention programme, leaves a legacy of success that services across the country continue to draw on.

Positive Futures was a national youth crime prevention programme funded by the Home Office and delivered locally by 91 projects in deprived communities across England and Wales. Central funding ceased on 31 March 2013. However, over 60% of projects have secured funding from police and crime commssioners and other local partners and will continue. Each project has a strong local focus that delivers services which are tailored to the needs of young people from the toughest backgrounds within their communities.

The programme targeted and supported 10 to 19-year-olds to avoid them becoming drawn into crime, drug and alcohol misuse and help them in moving forward with their lives. Young people were given the chance to develop the skills needed to get on to a positive career path and take on roles to become active and responsible citizens, such as through volunteering and mentoring and a range of activities including street football, yoga, kayaking, fishing, poetry, film-making and circus skills.

The evidence

‘Positive Futures has made a significant contribution to local action in reducing youth crime and preventing youth violence in some of our most disadvantaged communities and neighbourhoods. A legacy that I have no doubt will help shape local communities and crime prevention for years to come.’
Jeremy Browne, Home Office Minister for Crime Prevention.

In 2011/12 Positive Futures projects:

  • supported young people to achieve over 8,500 qualifications
  • supported 385 young people to gain employment and work experience
  • enabled young people to achieve over 31,700 positive outcomes.

A snapshot of results from around the country:
Bexley Positive Futures delivered activities in the Thamesmead area throughout 2011-12. In this area there has been:

  • 10% reduction in robbery
  • 12.2% reduction in offences of violence against the person
  • 25% reduction in serious wounding.

Bristol Knowle and Filwood Positive Futures worked alongside the police, Safer Bristol, a local community centre and anti-social behaviour teams to address issues in the Inns Court area of Filwood. The project’s mentoring scheme was identified by the Local Neighbourhood Sergeant as a major influence in the 22.7% reduction in incidents of anti-social behaviour and 55% drop in criminal damage.

‘Positive Futures takes you on a journey and raises your aspirations. It put me in the right place at the right time, and gave me the skills to make the most of these opportunities.’
Young person.

North East Lincolnshire Positive Futures worked in partnership with Humberside Police, Humberside Fire & Rescue Service, youth offending services and various other organisations to provide a holistic service to over 4,760 challenging young people per year. A statement from Humberside Police said:

‘When comparing 2007/08 to last financial year 2011/12 North East Lincolnshire showed huge reductions in all areas of youth crime including:

  • 61% reduction in youth related ASB
  • 61% reduction in youth offending.’

‘It is clear Positive Futures can and is tackling the serious issue of binge drinking among young people. It is important that the programme works with young people for the long term, giving them a purpose and meaning to life so they are less likely to want to get involved in binge drinking.’
Professor Ian Gilmore, elected President of the Royal College of Physician, and leading spokesperson on alcohol-related issues.