Ill-gotten gains of West Midlands criminals to reduce knife crime
Ill-gotten gains seized from criminals will soon be dished out to good causes battling to curb youth violence in their communities.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is calling on groups in the region to apply for a share of a £700,000 funding pot.
It will be the fourth year good causes wanting to make their neighbourhoods free from youth and knife crime will benefit from the Active Citizens Fund.
Mr Jamieson said: “The Active Citizens Fund is a vital source of funding for local people who want to make their area safer.
“Each year we fund a large number of projects with bids ranging from small to large and for a full range of activities and groups.
“This year projects will have to detail in the application how their project will grow active citizenship and reduce youth or knife crime.
“I would urge any group who is committed to improving their community and could do with this investment, which has been taken from criminals, don’t hesitate to submit an application.”
The fund is formed of money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), which cannot be spent on police officers.
A total of £710,734 is available this year for community groups across the Black Country, Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry.
Projects in line for winning the cash must focus on how they can reduce youth and knife crime in their areas.
Assistant chief constable Sarah Boycott said: “The Active Citizens Fund is a really positive initiative that helps some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“We need to make sure that as many people as possible know that this funding is available so individuals and groups who work tirelessly to improve the lives of others can benefit from it and continue to make some really positive changes in people’s lives.
“The West Midlands has great community spirit and the Active Citizens Fund is about supporting that and encouraging more people to get involved with making a real difference.”
Local policing teams recommend projects for approval and should be contacted ahead of submitting an application.
Officers will be on hand to advice applicants on the process and whether their bid will be successful.
Cash from the fund was previously used to launch a number of Streetwatch groups across the West Midlands, which deal with issues including parking, littering and drug dealing.