ONE hundred per cent of assets seized from criminals are being reinvested in ideas to make local communities safer using the Commissioner’s Proceeds of Crime Fund.
Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis changed the rules in 2013 so that all funding received by Staffordshire Police from proceeds of crime seizures goes back to local projects which help make communities safer.
The Proceeds of Crime Fund is supporting projects in conjunction with local policing teams and local authorities. It is made up of assets and money seized by Staffordshire Police from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Almost 100 local projects have received Proceeds of Crime Funding in the last three years. These have include initiatives to prevent sexual exploitation, divert young people from anti-social behaviour and tackle hate crime, domestic abuse, business crime and cyber bullying.
The Commissioner’s Proceeds of Crime Funding is again available in 2016/17, through grants of between £3,000 and £15,000. The latest application window is open now until 14 April.
Mr Ellis said: “I changed the way things were done in Staffordshire in 2013 to make sure that every bit of funding received from the proceeds of crime goes to fund community safety.
“Criminals take from law-abiding people, police take the ill-gotten gains from criminals and it all ends up back in communities, benefiting law-abiding people. What goes around comes around!
“I’ve seen first-hand across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent how this money is being spent at a local level to tackle the root causes of crime, prevent offending, support victims and help make communities safer.”
Bids for funding from the PCC’s Proceeds of Crime Fund have to demonstrate a clear connection with reducing crime and fit into one of the Commissioner’s four priority areas: intervening early, putting victims first, preventing offender and re-offending, and improving public confidence. Partner agencies involved in community safety locally can apply individually or in collaboration.
The Proceeds of Crime Fund is one part of the Commissioner’s Community Funding for 2016/17. Local groups can also apply for grants of between £100 and £3,000 to make their through communities safer the Commissioner’s People Power Fund.
More details, including application forms and animated videos about the funds, are available at www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/fund