Criminals’ cash to help communities across Bradford district

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Police and Crime Commisioner Mark Burns-Williamson and the groups receiving their crime fund grants Police and Crime Commisioner Mark Burns-Williamson and the groups receiving their crime fund grants

A total of 14 groups across the Bradford district have received cash from the Safer Communities Fund in the first round of grants.

More than £200,000 has been distributed to 45 community groups across West Yorkshire, with £84,000 benefiting Bradford projects.

Money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act is fed into this community pot which is then used for local projects.

The successful applicants were given the cash at an event at Tong High School in Bradford last night.

Katy Whitham, of the HALE healthy living project, based in Shipley, welcomed the £8,000 of funding for its Fish Bowl project, which will enable it to run for another year.

in the last two years it has worked with 1,694 young people to raise awareness of alcohol and binge drinking.

She said: “We are really delighted to receive the Safer Communities grant which will enable us to continue what we feel is key preventative work with young people around alcohol consumption.”

Helen Speight, of The Thornbury Centre in Bradford Moor, welcomed £7,888 for a new initiative between the Laco project, which works with central and eastern Europeans,and Families and Community United.

The one-year pilot scheme will tackle the understanding of alcohol issues within these communities, she said.

The Youth Fusion project at the Karmand Community Centre has secured £7,880 from the fund, which will help it to engage young people through sports and leisure activities, workshops, sports coaching qualifications and volunteerin opportunities.

Mohammed Shakeel, project manager, said: “The project will allow young people to develop new skills and build on existing ones, while participating in positive activities, socialising and having fun.”

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson said: “As funding cuts continue to impact on charities and voluntary organisations, I am delighted to be able to provide these groups with the money that will allow them to provide an invaluable service to our local communities.

“The feedback I received from representatives of these groups at the event was extremely supportive and I was really interested to hear about the projects they will be delivering locally.

“I am really looking forward to working closely with the groups who will be key partners in making our communities safer and feeling safer.”

West Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable John Robins said: “I am delighted to see how the money that West Yorkshire Police has seized from criminals is being reinvested.

“This funding announcement is an excellent example of how hitting criminals where it hurts further benefits our communities.”

Mr Burns-Williamson is calling for a change in the current legislation which means that half of the money seized from criminals is kept by the Government, instead of boosting the new Safer Communities Fund.

The second round of grants for the fund will open to applications on May 12 and local organisations and groups are being encouraged to submit application of up to £7,500.

More information can be found at westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk.

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