Criminals' cash up for grabs for crime-ridden Black Country areas

Community groups in the Black Country are being urged to bid for a share of £180,000 to reduce crime in their areas.

West Midlands Police has relaunched its Active Citizens' Fund
West Midlands Police has relaunched its Active Citizens' Fund

West Midlands Police has relaunched its Active Citizens’ Fund, which uses cash seized from crooks to help improve the safety of crime-ridden neighbourhoods.

Each project can bid for up to £5,000 and must contribute to crime prevention or community safety in one of the force’s "impact areas".

In Dudley bids are being accepted for the town centre and Brierley Hill, while schemes are being sought in Sandwell for Princes End, Smethwick, Soho & Victoria and West Bromwich Central.

Bids are also being encouraged for the St Matthews and Willenhall areas in Walsall, and for Bilston and Whitmore Reans in Wolverhampton.

Parts of Birmingham and Coventry are also involved.

Chief Superintendent Kim Madill said the scheme was "a great way of using money that we have taken from criminals to support locally based projects in our communities across the West Midlands".

She added: "I will look forward to seeing the bids coming in and the money going to valuable local organisations to support local people through initiatives that we know from past experience also have a positive impact on reducing crime and anti-social behaviour."

Cash used for the projects has been seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).

All bids must be submitted by noon on September 17. Allocations will be determined by local panels comprising of community representatives and West Midlands Police by September 30.

Final approval will be down to West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster.

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