Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire | WYPCC

£3.77m given to 827 projects as the final Safer Communities Fund grants distributed under the PCC

23rd March 2021

A total of £3.77m has been shared by 827 projects as the final Safer Communities Fund grants are distributed under the PCC.

It is estimated by the time the final projects finish, nearly 243,000 people will have been positively impacted by the fund.

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), was the first PCC to launch the now ground-breaking multi-million pound Safer Communities Fund back in 2014 made up from the Proceeds of Crime and has consistently lobbied Government to see more of this funding secured by police and prosecutors returned to communities and police locally.

Since then 21 grant rounds have been run, including an extraordinary one last year to support those badly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.

The final £3,771,697.94 figure was achieved at a virtual awards and celebration event held yesterday evening (MON 22/03) where a further 33 projects received a share of £176,272.82 in funding.

The latest round of the fund had a theme of “supporting communities’’ with a view to helping those most in need, particularly children, young people and older people, including victims and those harmed by crime.

Funded projects include:

  • The NSPCC in Bradford for their “InCtrl” project - a group work programme to work with children and young people to prevent sexual abuse online.
  • Northern Powerhouse Boxing Academy in Calderdale for their “12 Months of Self Defence” project - Led by an all-female coaching team, the project aims to empower young people especially women and girls through learning self-defence and confidence building skills.
  • Leeds Women's Aid towards their online live chat service which provides women and families affected by domestic violence and abuse (DV&A) an additional way to seek advice discreetly and confidentially.
  • Ultimate Sport Project in Kirklees who will offer sports, music, self-defence, and other youth associated activities, delivered by positive role models, with a view to steering young people away from gangs.
  • Wakefield Safeguarding Children Partnership for their “Mental Health First Aid” project - delivering an internationally recognised accredited training course, designed to teach people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health in young people and provide help on a first aid basis.

The awards will be the PCC’s last round due to the election of a West Yorkshire Mayor in May who will then take on the fund.

Mark said he was incredibly proud of what the fund had achieved: “The Safer Communities Fund has helped so many groups working within their communities tackling issues such as domestic abuse, hate crime and anti-social behaviour. Things that really matter to people on the ground and are sometimes best tackled by those same people.”

The fund provides cash of up to £6000 to help voluntary, community groups, charities and partners keep their communities safe and feeling safe. Grants are awarded in line with the outcomes and priorities set out in the Police and Crime Plan.

Mark added: “It was a particular privilege to be able to provide the extra funding to groups through the pandemic last year, an immeasurably hard time for so, so many of us.

“I wanted to ensure all our communities were continuing to be supported throughout this time by projects that understood their needs in this ever changing environment. I wanted those feeling vulnerable and isolated to know we were there to help them, and this was another way for us to do that.

“The fund has always been about turning ill-gotten gains into something positive and tangible for the communities that benefits people in a really great way.

“Last night was also a way of saying thank you to everyone who has helped make the fund what is it, from those who applied and turned the money into a fantastic contribution for their own communities, to West Yorkshire Police and my own office for all their support in helping make the fund a success.

“I am overwhelmed at the positive impact it’s had in helping our communities feel safe and I want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved for the very real difference they all made and continue to make.”

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

West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable, John Robins QPM, said: “I would like to pass on my congratulations to all of the community and voluntary groups who have been successful in applying for this funding.

“Community groups and charities provide a lifeline to many people and despite the challenges of the last year, they have continued to provide vital services, helping people during these unprecedented times.”

The Safer Communities Fund is set to continue under the West Yorkshire Mayor and more details will be made available in due course.