How Leeds community groups can get a share of £200,00 seized from criminals

Money seized from West Yorkshire criminals is helping to fund youth centre activities, educational programmes and outreach work.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 11:45 am

Now more community groups and charities in Leeds who want to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour are being given the chance to bid for a share of a £200,000 cash pot.

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, runs the Safer Communities Fund.

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West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson presented a 5,200 grant to St George's Lighthouse.

It has handed out more than £2.8m to around 660 crime-fighting projects in the county since its launch in 2014.

“I want to reach groups that are working really hard in their communities or with ideas to tackle these issues, especially the ones who may not yet have received funding or support, including those who might not even be aware of the Safer Communities Fund," Mr Burns-Williamson said.

"It could be a small group raising awareness about how to stay safe on the roads or, it could be a youth club holding events aimed at safeguarding young people, the possibilities are endless and it could all start with an application to the fund.”

Among the successful Leeds applicants in the last round of funding was St George’s Lighthouse, which bid for £5,200 along with West Yorkshire Police.

The charity, which is based at St George's Crypt, works with people who have multiple and complex needs, including drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness, criminal history, poverty and mental health issues.

It used the money awarded to fund a 'navigator' to work 10 hours per week for a year with people who had drug and alcohol dependencies.

Working intensively with up to four people at a time, their aim would be to help those individuals to engage with support services and break the cycle of dependency.

The fund is now open to applications of up to £6,000 each, with a deadline of noon on March 13.

It is financed entirely through money recovered from criminals by West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors.

Urging community groups to make an application, Chief Constable John Robins added: “Tackling crime and antisocial behaviour remains central to keeping our communities safe and feeling safe as it is key to improving the quality of life for local residents.

“The associated issues can often become a gateway to more serious offences and we must work hard to address these at the earliest opportunity.

“This means our Neighbourhood Policing Teams need to develop close links with local projects, which are best placed to make a difference."

To find out more about the fund and apply, visit the crime commissioner's website or call the office on 01924 294000.