One of our key mottos is that young people are resources to be developed not problems to be solved. This is a strengths based approach to education which holds that highlighting and developing young people’s positive attributes and skills is far more effective than majoring on trying to ‘cure’ negative behaviour. This is because the young person develops new confidence and self perspective when they start to achieve something positive which stokes an ambition to succeed. Consequently they become naturally less disposed to criminal activity and nuisance behaviour. In technical terminology, the young person ‘recalibrates their identity’ and stop seeing themselves as offenders. Put crudely, the best way to get rid of a bad habit is to develop a good one in its place.

The effectiveness of this approach has been borne out by a lot of research and evidence, the most famous of which is the report written in the wake of the 2011 riots that swept the UK. The panel responsible for the report found that

‘Of children brought before the courts at the time we published our interim report, two-thirds had special educational needs and missed on average almost one day of school a week. They were also more likely to live in the 10 per cent lowest income areas, be receiving free school meals and have been excluded from school at least once. Only 11 per cent had achieved five or more GCSE grades A*–C including English and Maths.’ (After the Riots, 2011)

The report went on to recommend how critical it was for young people to leave education with good standards of literacy and numeracy and the skills to find employment.

TwentyTwenty has a high degree of success in seeing significant reductions in antisocial behaviour (asb) and crime. On average, across all our projects, this is between 65-75%. We’re very pleased with this and hope that as we improve this number will grow. Of course we’re not claiming that this is a simple cause and effect process without any other factors in play.  But there is no doubt that the research, evidence and our own hard won experience is compelling.

Reducing asb and crime is good for everyone; the young people themselves, their families and communities, and most importantly the victims. Major studies conducted by the Howard League for Penal reform show that punishment alone is ineffective and that’s why TwentyTwenty will continue to record and improve upon it’s outcomes in reducing negative behaviour, as a direct result of promoting educational and employment success