£210,000 to tackle violent crime from West Yorkshire’s PCC (7 Sep 2018)

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson has given out £211,509.34 to tackle violent crime and support victims across the region.

Mark granted a share of the money to 49 community groups from across West Yorkshire as part of the latest round of his Safer Communities Fund.

The successful projects will tackle serious violent crime from all angles including prevention, early intervention, diversion, protection and education.

The funded projects include:

  • Project 6 in Bradford who are training young people to act as advocates across a number of schools to deter the use of drugs, crime and exploitation.
  • Community Transport Calderdale who are supporting victims of domestic abuse by providing free and safe travel to court where they can give evidence without the fear of meeting their attacker on public transport.
  • Conflict Resolutions in Kirklees who are working with young people in schools to tackle a wide range of issues such as gangs, postcode wars, community cohesion, social media awareness, conflict resolution and life and social skills.
  • Get Away Girls in Leeds who are targeting young women at risk of gang related harm through outreach sessions building a rapport with the use of music.
  • Spectrum People in Wakefield who are delivering sessions in schools to increase confidence and self-esteem and to steer young people away from crime, in particular violent crime.

The Safer Communities Fund is run by Mark and financed through money recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act by West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors.

Mark launched the Fund in 2014 and, including the latest round of grants, has given over £2.4m to over 550 projects looking to help keep West Yorkshire safe.

The latest grants were given out at an awards ceremony in Dewsbury last night by Mark, he said: "It was another fantastic and humbling awards event and a real pleasure to be able to give nearly 50 projects grants to tackle violent crime across our county.

"Unfortunately we have seen a rise in violent crime recently, not just in West Yorkshire but across the country. It has not gone unanswered, the police will always do everything they can to stop and prevent these offences, however community groups and organisations also have a really important part to play in preventing such crimes from happening in the first place.

"I recently launched my refreshed Police and Crime Plan which has a renewed focus on tackling violent crime in partnership. The grants given out last night will make a big difference at that local level and I am looking forward to seeing the results in our communities in due course.

"As always a big thank you to West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors for taking the proceeds of crime away from criminals, without their work the fund would not be able to run and make such a difference locally."

Chief Constable Dee Collins, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "Two of our key priorities as highlighted in out Police and Crime Plan are to tackle violent crime and to protect the vulnerable. The Safer Communities Fund reinforces these priorities and shows that crime does not pay. We continue to take money and assets from criminals and give them back to the same communities that those criminals have harmed.

"By reinvesting seized assets, we can support incredibly worthy groups and individuals in our Communities who make a real difference in both protecting those that are most vulnerable whilst at the same time tackling violent crime across West Yorkshire.

"I was delighted to attend the ceremony and see first-hand the great work that is being carried out that has been made possible by the seizing of assets.

"I would encourage any organisation that feels they meet the criteria for a grant to apply."

The next round of the Safer Communities Fund opens for applications on 29 October 2018. £150,000 will be available for organisations to bid in for a grant of up to £5000. More details will be made available on the PCC's website soon, www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk.

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