West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner inviting good causes to apply for a slice of £130,000 (14 Mar 2016)

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson has opened the latest grant round of his Safer Communities Fund (SCF) with £130,000 available for good causes.

The Fund was created to help voluntary, community groups, charities and partners make their communities safer and feel safer with grants being awarded in line with the priorities set out in the Police and Crime plan.

This latest grant comes weeks after Mark Burns-Williamson awarded over £200,000 in the previous round of the Fund which took the grand total of money given since the SCF began to over £1.2milllion.

Well over a thousand applications have been received by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner since the fund launched in February 2014 with a total of 274 groups benefitting from £1,211,201.45.

The Fund is financed directly by money seized from criminals by West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). Applications for up to £5,000 can now be submitted and will be considered by an Independent Advisory Board.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: "I am delighted that we have been able to give so much money back to our communities. £1.2million of criminals' cash has now been used to help the people of West Yorkshire with invaluable projects and services.

"Supporting and safeguarding victims and vulnerable people, increasing opportunities for young people, working with offenders to reduce re-offending, preventing crime, and tackling anti-social behaviour are just a few examples of funded projects.

"I want this money to go as far as possible and reach as many groups as possible so if you know of a project that could use some funding please urge them to have a look at the Safer Communities Fund.

"I am determined to generate as much money as possible for community safety initiatives and I am leading a campaign to retain all the proceeds of crime in West Yorkshire. Under current legislation, the Government keeps half of the money seized from criminals. This cash which could potentially double the amount available within the Safer Communities Fund and for policing and criminal justice services.

"The excellent work of West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors in locating and seizing the proceeds of crime from criminals enabled this fund to be created and continue and that is very much appreciated."

Temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins said: "The Proceeds of Crime Act allows us to seize assets from criminals and the Safer Communities Fund enables some of those recovered funds to be used to directly benefit the communities of West Yorkshire.

"These projects have a direct positive impact on local people, working with them to make a real difference to the lives and experiences of the whole community. Over 270 groups have already benefitted from the grants, I hope that more community groups, charities and organisations consider applying for funding in this latest round of grants."

To find out more about the Fund including how to apply and the required criteria visit www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/safer-communities-fund.aspx. The closing date for applications is 5pm on 15 April with grants being awarded in June.

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