Community helped with crime cash

19th February 2013. Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire Mark Burns-Williamson.
19th February 2013. Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire Mark Burns-Williamson.

Money seized from criminals has been awarded to community groups and organisations across the district as part of a new scheme.

Six groups received a share of £218,000 in grants from West Yorkshire Police’s Safer Communities Fund.

They include the Warwick Watchers junior neighbourhood watch group in Knottingley, Frickley Academy Football Club in South Elmsall and the Havercroft and Ryhill Sports and Youth Centre.

The money was made available by West Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson.

He said: “As funding cuts continue to impact on charities and voluntary organisations, I am delighted to be able to provide these groups with the money that will allow them to provide an invaluable service to our local communities.

“The feedback I received from these groups was extremely supportive and I was really interested to hear about the projects they will be delivering locally.

“I am really looking forward to working closely with the groups who will be key partners in making our communities safer.

The cash was handed out as part of the first round of the funding from the Safer Communities Fund and made up of £167,000 recovered from criminal assets and each of the groups was given 80 per cent of the money they asked for.

Mr Burns-Williamson has launched a nationwide campaign for police forces to get more of the money which is seized from criminals.

He added: “Under current legislation, the government keeps half of the money seized from criminals.

“This is cash which could potentially double the amount available within the Safer Communities Fund.”

West Yorkshire Police Asst Chf Con John Robins said the force remains determined to pursue criminals who benefit from crime.

He said: “I am delighted to see how the money that we have seized from criminals is being reinvested into our local communities.

“It is an excellent example of how hitting criminals where it hurts further benefits our communities.”

Applications for the second round of grants from the fund open on Thursday, May 12 and groups can apply for grants of up to £7,500.

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