Birmingham Crime Diversion Scheme

Tackling gang crime through sport

Residents of the Highgate, St Andrew, Digbeth and Lee Bank areas of Birmingham have lived under a cloud of fear and intimidation in recent years, as their communities have become plagued by escalating gang-related violence and anti-social behaviour. Thefts, physical attacks and drug dealing have, unfortunately, become all too common occurrences.

One gang in particular that has hit the headlines is the notorious B515 street gang, so called because their members herald from the B5 and B15 postcodes. However, one local organisation was determined to make a difference.

Embedded in the heart of these communities, Birmingham Crime Diversion Scheme (BCDS) is a social enterprise whose aim is to tackle the root causes of these problems by deterring young people away from gang-related crimes, whilst empowering them to understand, challenge and change their attitudes.

HOW SPORTED HELPED

Sported is funding BCDS’s 515 Sport Project – a three year programme which uses structured sporting activities, including netball, basketball, table tennis, football and cricket, to divert young people away from gang activities. These activities are accompanied by one-to-one, group and peer mentoring to give young people the opportunity to speak confidently and openly about their issues and problems.

Clifton Cameron, CEO of BCDS

    “Sported gave us a business mentor and because of this we were able to draw up a business plan. He gave us the blueprint and told us what was needed for funding. From what we have learnt from our Sported mentor, we can now start to plan ahead and are now able to go after bigger funding.”


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