Safer Communities Fund projects targeting violent crime across West Yorkshire as latest round nears closing date
17 May 2019
Projects funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner's (PCC) Safer Communities Fund are tackling violent crime across the region.
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's PCC runs the grant scheme, which returns money recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act back to communities, and visited a number of the on-going initiatives this week.
The visits come as Mark urged local groups to take advantage of the funding with the current grant round nearing its closing date of mid day on Friday 24 May.
Mark visited Sunnyvale Outdoor Activity Centre in Calderdale and On Trak Community Initiative in Bradford this week with his office also visiting RADYCAL in Kirklees.
Sunnyvale Outdoor Activity Centre, based in Halifax, were awarded £5000 for their project "Straight to the Point" which provides diversionary activities for young people and ex-offenders.
They deliver a structured activity based programme which incorporates outdoor activities and awareness sessions in an on-site classroom. The talks delivered include knife crime awareness, child sexual exploitation, cyber crime, gangs, drugs, alcohol abuse, police, courts and prison and raising awareness about mental health.
Christopher Madden, Chair of Sunnyvale Outdoor Activity Centre, said: "We've been really pleased with the take up of the Straight To The Point which now covers ten schools in Calderdale and has proved to be a really valuable initiative for us in engaging local youngsters.
"It's allowed us to deliver a tailor made programme that covers knife crime, county lines, cyber-crime, drugs, dangers of going missing and the most common offences committed by young people all complied into one talk.
"We can that deliver that as part of a fun day of activities to youngsters who are at a perfect age for us to reach with important safety advice as they move from primary to adult schools.
"All in all the feedback to the programme from schools involved has been fantastic and we're really pleased the programme is receiving this funding from the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner."
On Trak are a Bradford based children's charity who target young people falling into the Not in Education, Employment and Training (NEET) category with a view to getting them on to positive pathways, diverting them away from the possibility of being involved in crime.
They have facilities including a functioning garage and go kart track that enables the students to gain practical work experience and qualifications.
They received £5000 for their project "Taking back the streets" which is providing additional sessions for young people with information on gun and knife crime, from a policing, victim and perpetrator point of view and an input from a drugs worker.
Adrian Woods, Operations Manager at On Trak Community Initiative, said: "Our target was to engage 150 young people on the dangers of knife crime and to deliver an Early Intervention Program.
"We delivered sessions on knife crime and county lines with the support of local police. 162 people engaged in the project from 10 local organisations and we received very positive feedback from all involved."
RADYCAL (Rawthorpe & Dalton, Youth/Children, Activities/Leisure), based in Huddersfield, supports young people in the local area offering activities including an after school and youth club.
They were awarded £1770 for their project "It's your choice" which has allowed the group to create a piece of theatre and workshops that focuses on knife crime. It explores the feelings of victims, the background and lead up to an incident as well as the wide impact this could have on families, friends and communities.
Cat Willetts, Treasurer of RADYCAL, said: "Funding from Safer Communities Fund has been instrumental in our successful project. The funding has given us the opportunity to work with other schools in Huddersfield, the wider community and partners to get the word out there about the effects of carrying a knife."
Mark Burns-Williamson PCC, said: "These projects are some fantastic examples of the prevention and early intervention work that I have championed as being so crucial in helping to tackle serious violence and general crime issues. My thanks to all the projects for all their hard work and it was great to make personal visits to hear about the activities first hand.
"With just over a week left to apply to the Safer Communities Fund it's really important that we get the message out there that this money is available to local groups and it can make a huge difference in your community."
The Safer Communities Fund is currently open for applications until 24th May (12:00 noon). Grants of up to £6,000 are available from a total funding pot of £200,000.
For the first time ever, the fund has a split funding pot. Half of the money will be available to projects looking to either tackle drugs and alcohol misuse or work focusing on young people, with the other half open to applications looking to address any of the priorities in the Police and Crime Plan.