SEVEN Bradford groups were last night awarded a total of almost £30,000 from cash seized from criminals.

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner returned more than £213,900 to community projects at the latest awards night for his Safer Communities Fund.

The 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 communities to £1.9 million since 2014.

The seven Bradford groups to get money include Bradford Cyrenians, which is receiving £5,000 to fund its re-start project, offering support to rough sleepers, and The Good Shepherd Centre, given £1,245 for projects to tackle anti-social behaviour and safeguard vulnerable people.

Overall 50 projects were successful in the latest round, which invited groups to apply for funding to address issues including community cohesion, radicalisation and road safety.

Mr Burns Williamson 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.”

West Yorkshire Chief Constable Dee Collins 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.”