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Title: Thoughts, feelings and perceptions of an inner-city London community regarding the role of the school in preventing and protecting children and young people from crime
Author: Swift, Sally
Awarding Body: Institute of Education (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Although statistics imply that youth crime is falling, fear of crime amongst young people is prevalent. Young people living in high crime neighbourhoods are more likely to become involved with crime - as victim or offender - and to experience increased psychological stressors such as fear. Even though schools have almost universal access to young people, in the UK their role in crime prevention is in its infancy. In contrast, the positive impact of crime prevention interventions in countries including America and Australia are well documented. By analysing the perspectives of a range of young people and adult stakeholders in an inner-city community, this study contributes to knowledge about how to strengthen the role of the school in youth crime prevention. A qualitative mixed-methods design was used to allow full exploration of the topic. Young people in Years 5-9 took part in mixed gender, school-based, focus groups. Adult stakeholders, including primary and secondary school staff, the police and youth workers, shared their views in semi-structured interviews or focus groups. Each participant lived or worked in the research ward. Each interview and focus group was transcribed and analysed along three thematic analyses; ‘context of crime for young people’, ‘context of youth crime for adult community stakeholders’ and possible future ‘ways of working’. Various themes and subthemes allowed for further exploration of the topic. The findings highlight how regularly young people in high crime inner-city communities are exposed to crime, and how aware they are of it. Participants report that young people are not getting enough crime prevention support in school, and that schools could and should be doing more. The limited support available to young people is piecemeal, and tends to be reactive not preventative. This study highlights the need for increased joined-up working between youth services and education. There is also a need for a wider range of provision and better use of existing resources in such communities to better meet the holistic needs of young people and protect them from crime. Although there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to improving crime prevention support in schools, the findings can be applied to other contexts. The study outlines the implications for professionals in these communities, including the possible role for educational psychologists.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Phys.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology and Human Development