Impending cuts in youth services in Croydon could lead to an increase in young criminals and antisocial behaviour.

As part of Croydon Council’s cost-saving measures it is looking to cut the budget for youth services by between £1.5m and £2.5m.

Youth clubs will close and some youth workers will be made redundant in the latest round of cost-cutting by the council.

Four options to save money in the borough, which has the highest population of young people in London, will be put before cabinet next Monday.

The most extreme, to save £2.5m over two years, means the council will make 53 staff dedicated to supporting young people redundant, and be unable to run holiday activities for youths.

Papers going before cabinet admit the risks to young people from this option include increasing the number of young people who are socially excluded, involved in antisocial behaviour and crime.

However, the Turnaround Centre, which helps troubled youths change their lives, will continue to provide a drop-in service.

Savings of £2m mean more unemployed young people not getting any education or training in the borough, with 46 staff being made redundant.

And savings of £1.5m, the least drastic option, includes shutting down youth clubs and making the voluntary sector and communities responsible for providing youth activities, with 35 staff losing their jobs.

The voluntary sector stands to lose more than £120,000 in revenue from council leases on buildings - like church halls and community centres- used for youth activities.

Many organisations already helping young people stay out of trouble, such as Together in Waddon, which provides youth activities, will be forced to close down in December due to cuts in their funding made earlier this year.

The council will replace youth clubs with between three and five youth hubs in the borough each receiving £20,000 for projects. Area youth forums will be responsible for overseeing how this money is spent.

Tony Newman, Labour group leader, said: “These proposed cuts to the youth service in Croydon are ill-thought through, give a completely inadequate timescale for a properly considered response and will allow minimal or no input from the people that matter most, the young people who will be most affected by these cuts.”

Councillor Tim Pollard, cabinet member for children, said: “It’s been clear for a long time that the council’s youth service achieves relatively little for the money it costs.

“Young people are rejecting what’s on offer and so we desperately need reform.”