Commissioner grants £217,000 for community safety initiatives (20 Sep 2019)

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Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been granted to good causes across West Yorkshire for initiatives to increase community safety and prevent crime.

The grants were made as part of West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson's Safer Communities Fund which returns money recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act back to communities.

A total of 42 groups received a share of £217,006.18 at an awards event held at The Thornbury Centre in Bradford last night (19/09).

Projects funded include:

  • Bradford Street Angels who received £5733 to help support vulnerable people in the city centre.
  • Project Colt who received £5952 for their Day Treatment programme for drugs and alcohol based in Calderdale.
  • Huddersfield Town Foundation who received £5574 for their educational sessions for young people.
  • St Georges Crypt in Leeds who received £6000 for their abstinence project.
  • Wakefield Youth Offending Team who received £3000 for their Virtual Reality Programme which will use VR headsets as part of education around the impact of difference offences and behaviour.

The majority of this latest round of the Safer Communities Fund had a specific focus around projects either tackling drugs and alcohol misuse or work focusing on young people, with the remaining funding open to applications looking to address any of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: "This is the 16th grant round under my Safer Communities Fund and it's fantastic to say that since it launched in 2014 it has now given back over £2.8m to nearly 660 projects across West Yorkshire helping to keep our communities safe and feeling safe.

"This rounds theme had a specific focus to help our work to tackle serious and violent crime and reduce reoffending by addressing the underlying problems such as substance abuse, something we can only do by working together with partners and communities. Similarly we need to work together to provide support for early intervention and opportunities for vulnerable young people before they get drawn in to crime and ASB.

"I am very proud to be able to support these initiatives and I really want to show my appreciation for the extraordinary work these groups and volunteers do in our communities. Work which is centred on the dedication and passion of the local people running them and making a real difference on the ground throughout West Yorkshire."

West Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson added: "We all know the devastating effects that alcohol and substance misuse can have on people's lives, as well as the contributory role it can play in crime and anti-social behaviour.

"It is extremely pleasing to see the proceeds of crime coming full circle and now positively supporting those projects that can make a real difference.

"Likewise, the emphasis on young people is vital, particularly in creating opportunities for early intervention, steering them away from potential vulnerability in the first instance.

"It cannot be underestimated just how crucial these groups are in the wider partnership effort to keeping our communities safe and feeling safe."

The next round of the Safer Communities Fund opens for application on Monday 7th October 2019. More information will be released in due course on the website /safer-communities-fund.aspx and also available by contacting the office on 01924 294000.

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019