Six Surrey-based projects which help reduce crime or the fear of crime have been given a share of over £20,000 worth of funding under a scheme that sees assets confiscated from criminals and put back in to communities.
Surrey Police received a record number of applications for funding this year in the third round of the ‘Cash for Communities’ project which sees assets seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and used to support community initiatives that reduce crime, reduce fear of crime, help combat anti-social behaviour or complement local policing priorities.
The six successful applicants who have been awarded funds of between £1,000 and £5,000 are:
Woking Street Angels – awarded £1,000 to put towards the recruitment and training of 10 new volunteers to ensure that Woking Street Angels will be able to continue to provide support in Woking town centre every Friday and Saturday night. The Woking Street Angels work with the police and partners to offer practical help to people who may be vulnerable as a result of alcohol, drug abuse or other causes.
The Matrix Trust – awarded £5,000 to assist with the purchasing of equipment for a new youth club in the Bellfields area of Guildford. The intention is for the project to work with hard to reach young people, offering positive role models and discouraging and tackling anti-social thought patterns and behaviour. The charity already runs a youth club night for young people living on the Bushy Hill estate.
17th Reigate Scout Group – awarded £5,000 towards the building of a purpose built Scout and community hall. The group are currently meeting at a neighbouring Scout hall following the demolition of the hall which they previously used at St Joseph’s Church, Redhill, however this arrangement is not sustainable long-term. The new building is being designed for shared community use.
Runnymede Police Community Boxing Club – awarded £5,000 to help support the running of after school boxing sessions at two secondary schools in Runnymede. The project is designed to act as a pilot for a longer term self-sustaining project in schools and for set sessions in school holiday periods.
Runnymede Neighbourhood Watch – awarded £1,850 to assist with funding the Runnymede Neighbourhood Watch steering group. The money will be used to make improvements to existing schemes in the borough and make the initiative sustainable.
St Michael’s Project Group – awarded £3,000 to provide a ball games area which will benefit young people in the St Michael’s ward in Surrey Heath. Accent Peerless Housing Association conducted a residents’ survey which identified the project as the highest priority action for the area.
Detective Inspector Jo Hayes, who leads on the project, said: “The Force received a record number of applications for funding this year which only goes to show the continued value of the Cash for Communities project. We hope that the grants will make a real difference to the six successful projects that are working to reduce crime, the fear of crime and to improve community safety.
“We need the public to do their bit to ensure we can continue to hit criminals where it hurts the most – in the pocket. If you suspect that someone is living off the proceeds of crime, for example someone who shows external signs of wealth yet doesn’t seem to have a job or legitimate income, then either contact Surrey Police directly by calling 101 or call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. All information will be treated in confidence and proactively followed up.”
Kevin Hurley, Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey added: “The public expect a zero-tolerance approach to the criminals preying on innocent people and making a living from the misery of others. It is right that Surrey Police takes every opportunity to seize the profits of their crime.
“It is good to know that, thanks to some excellent work by Surrey Police and the help of the community, criminals are worse off to the tune of £20,000. It is even better to see that money now being put to good use on worthwhile projects that will help people across the county.”
For more information about the Cash for Communities scheme visit http://www.surrey.police.uk/about-us/our-community/cash-for-communities
The assets confiscated from criminals through POCA are shared between a central Home Office fund (50%), the Crown Prosecution Service (18.75%), the court (12.5%) and the investigating agency, such as Surrey Police, who get the remaining 18.75%.