Crime cash for community

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A charity which helps older people to live independently in their own homes is among those to benefit from money recovered from criminals.

Seventeen projects in Leeds are among 40 in West Yorkshire which have netted a share of £167,355.47 in the latest round of the police and crime commissioner for West Yorkshire, Mark Burns-Williamson’s Safer Communities Fund.

Burmantofts Senior Action will use the £4,669 to run activities to promote safety for people over the age of 60.

Melanie Ndzinga, Burmantofts Senior Action project manager, said: “It’s a massive help. It enables us to do this specific piece of work we would not be able to do otherwise. It means we can reach out to people a lot of organisations cannot reach.”

More than £1.5m recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) has now been returned to West Yorkshire communities through the fund, which is in its ninth round.

The fund was created to support voluntary and community groups, charities and partners to make their communities safer and feel safer. It is financed through money recovered under POCA which allows police and prosecutors to seize assets which criminals gained through vicarious means.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “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.”