Nearly £700,000 Awarded to Good Crime Causes in 2014 by West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (15 Dec 2014)

Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has now awarded £697,000 to more than 100 charities, voluntary groups and other organisations across West Yorkshire under the Safer Communities Fund.

Money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) is fed into this single community pot exclusively for local community safety initiatives.

Since the Safer Communities Fund was launched in February there have been four grant rounds, with 123 groups benefiting so far.

Mr Burns-Williamson is also taking part in the Home Office consultation on the Proceeds of Crime Act legislation supporting changes which would see greater powers for the police to detain property acquired through crime and reducing situations where such property is returned.

The fourth grant round closed on December 5 with £130,000 available to organisations with an awards evening planned for successful applicants on 29 January at Outwood Grange Academy in Wakefield.

The successful applicants will be announced in January.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson said:

"This year has seen a staggering amount of money go to worthy causes and organisations applying for money from the Safer Communities Fund and I am delighted I have been able to help as much as I can by creating this fund.

"This money will allow organisations to provide an invaluable service to our local communities as government funding cuts continue to hit charities and voluntary groups across West Yorkshire.

"Each submission must also meet the priorities and outcomes outlined in my Police and Crime Plan. /our-business/the-police-crime-plan.aspx

"Under current legislation, the Government keeps half of the money seized from criminals in West Yorkshire, however; I want to see all of that returned to the county. This could potentially double the amount available through the Safer Communities Fund.

"Possible changes to POCA legislation could also see police to apply to a magistrate's court in order to sell assets in certain circumstances without the permission of the defendant, meaning property could be sold much sooner ensuring maximum sale value is reached, in a timely manner, so cash can be put back into communities.

"The enormous amount of applications I receive demonstrates the incredible demand for funding to pay for community projects that help ensure people are safer and feel safer.

"Unfortunately we have had to turn some bids down but I want to thank everyone for applying and I am heartened by the amount of good work going on to help communities across the county.

"To find out more about the Safer Communities Fund please visit /safer-communities-fund.aspx."

More details will be released for 2015 grant rounds in the New Year.

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