Criminals are funding community groups to the tune of £1.5m

For this is the colossal amount of money seized from offenders in West Yorkshire under the Proceeds of Crime Act over the last two years.

It will now be used for good causes under the Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson’s Safer Communities Fund.

Forty projects received a share of £167,355.47 at an awards evening in Batley last (Thurs) night for the latest round of the fund which had a crime prevention theme.

The Safer Communities Fund was set up in February 2014 and is now in its ninth round. A total of £1,532,632 has so far been returned to the communities it came from.

The Fund was created to support voluntary, community groups and charities to make their communities safer and feel safer.

So far more than 340 groups from across West Yorkshire have benefitted.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “Over £1.5million of recovered money has now been given to groups looking to support victims, reduce and prevent crime, tackle anti-social behaviour and safeguard vulnerable people.

“It’s truly heartening to see what a difference relatively small amounts of money can make in our communities across West Yorkshire and I am continually impressed by the amount of worthy causes and organisations applying who are making a huge difference.

“A heartfelt thank you to our police service and prosecutors who doing a fantastic job of ensuring crime doesn’t pay. Without their hard work recovering this money from criminals the fund wouldn’t exist.

“I would ask groups to think of what good a grant of up to £5,000 could do in their community and spread the word about the Safer Communities Fund as far as possible in helping to keep West Yorkshire safe and feeling safe.”

West Yorkshire Police’s Chief Constable Dee Collins said: “The Safer Communities Fund is an excellent initiative which takes money away from criminals and gives it back to the very communities they have harmed.

“I would also encourage any organisation in West Yorkshire that feels they meet the necessary criteria to apply for a grant.”

The next round of the fund opens for applications on December 12 with £140,000 available for good causes. To find out more about the fund, including how to apply visit https:// .

Local groups who benefited from the latest round include:

  • Crosland Moor Community Learning Centre, £4,816
  • Kirklees Communities Who Can £5,000
  • Kirkees Local TV £4,800
  • Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing £4,480
  • Nature’s Footprints Forest Play and Education £5,000
  • West Yorkshire Partnership £1,000