PCC’s Recovered Proceeds of Crime Community Fund Tops £1.9m (4 Aug 2017)

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Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) returned a further £213, 940.46 to community projects at the latest awards night for his Safer Communities Fund.

The Safer Communities Fund is financed through money recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and this latest round brings the total amount of money returned to West Yorkshire communities to a massive £1.9m since 2014!

50 projects were successful in the latest round which invited groups to apply for funding who were looking to address one or more of the following priorities within the Police and Crime Plan, community cohesion, missing people, radicalisation and road safety.

This theme followed the launch of the new Police and Crime Plan which was created following an extensive consultation with communities in West Yorkshire.

5500 people responded to the consultation and road safety, community cohesion, missing people and radicalisation came out as key areas concerning our communities.

The successful groups and projects attended an awards evening in Wakefield last night to collect their grants of up to £5000.

Some examples of funded projects include a support programme for parents of children that go missing and are at risk of exploitation, a project looking to train young ambassadors from schools on how to spot the signs of radicalisation and build community cohesion, an initiative to improve road safety by running family awareness and craft sessions where families will be able to make signs to encourage drivers to slow down.

The Safer Communities Fund was launched in 2014 and including the latest round has now given out £1,908,441.25 to over 430 community projects across West Yorkshire

Mark said: "This is one of the biggest grant rounds the Safer Communities Fund has had to date and it's a real honour to be able to give a boost to such worthy causes across West Yorkshire. To have such a good amount of money is also testament to the work of West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors in taking this ill gotten money away from criminals, ensuring crime doesn't pay in West Yorkshire.

"It's extremely timely that we are investing in projects looking to address community cohesion, missing people, radicalisation and road safety. These are often complex areas to tackle and require a joined up community focused approach to ensure our communities are safe and feel safe, and hearing directly about where this funding will be making a real difference is very inspiring."

Dee Collins, West Yorkshire's Chief Constable said: "We and our criminal justice partners are determined to work hard to ensure criminals are put before the courts, that their assets are taken from them and put to good use, helping our communities. If anyone has suspicions about someone they think is benefitting from the proceeds of crime, please let us know and we will take action."

The next round of the Safer Communities Fund has a general theme and opens for applications on 4 September 2017. To find out more about the fund visit the PCC's website /safer-communities-fund.aspx.

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