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Public attitudes to youth crime

Report on focus group research

This paper reports the findings of a series of focus groups set up to explore public attitudes to youth crime. The topics included the respondents‟ views of:

  • the extent of crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) in the local community and the perceived causes of these;
  • restorative justice
  • volunteering and the role of the community in preventing crime and in supporting youth justice.

One hundred and twenty five participants took part including: 57 men and 68 women aged 18-76 years old. Around one-third were parents of secondary school-aged children and just over two-thirds were White. A focus group methodology was used to look at the range and diversity of public attitudes to youth crime, and the reasons behind these views. The findings are not representative of the general population, but explore complex issues across a broad cross-section of the general public.