Local crime busters in North Wales are being urged to bid for a share of a £60,000 pot of money seized from crooks.
According to North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin, the Your Community Your Choice fund will be used to recycle the ill-gotten gains of criminals for the benefit of communities across the region.
The initiative is a partnership between Mr Dunbobbin, the North Wales Police and Community Trust (PACT) and North Wales Police.
Half the money is being contributed by the commissioner with the rest coming cash confiscated from criminals via the Proceeds of Crime Act.
As a result, three community groups in each county in North Wales will receive up to £2,500 each whilst there will be three £5,000 grants available for organisations working across three or more counties.
After opening on November 15, the window for groups to submit applications runs until December 10, with the winners being chosen by a public poll.
A shortlist of applicants will be chosen by a special panel and voting opens on January 10 and runs until February 4.
All bids need to support the commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan in which delivering safer neighbourhoods and supporting communities are key priorities.
Mr Dunbobbin said: “This is social justice in action because the Your Community Your Choice scheme is about turning bad money into good money to support our communities from the Flintshire Bridge to Menai Bridge and right across the rest of the region.
“The successful projects will be ones that support the strategic priorities in my Police and Crime Plan
“I want to flip that on its head so that we have a series of community-led initiatives, providing positive outcomes for the people living in those areas.
“As well as having applications from our larger towns, I would like to encourage groups from rural areas coming forward because I am proud to represent all the communities in North Wales and be as inclusive as possible.”
PACT chair Ashley Rogers said: “What I particularly like is the democratic nature of the Your Community Your Choice scheme.
“It’s about community groups applying for grants and then it’s the communities themselves who decide who gets the funding. That’s magical.
“One thing that all applicants will need to do is to discuss their proposal with their local neighbourhood policing team and to be endorsed by their district inspector before submitting their application.
“There’s a certain Robin Hood element to it that I think people love and has made it such a successful scheme, underlined by the fact that it attracted more than 30,000 votes last year.
“I’m very proud that PACT is able to deliver this on behalf of the PCC and North Wales Police and I’d encourage voluntary groups and charities to submit their applications.”
Superintendent Helen Corcoran added: “The Your Community Your Choice fund hits at the very heart of what we’re trying to achieve.
“There are so many worthy community groups out there, and this initiative is about the police and the community working together to actually make things safer for the public of North Wales, with the added benefit of course is that a lot of the money comes from criminals.
“We want to support communities so they are able to take responsibility for their own areas.
“Community groups can do a great deal to make their local areas safer, reduce crime and reduce re-offending, It also sends a good message to the communities because it shows we are listening to them.”
Completed applications must be returned by e-mail to email@example.com by 5pm on the closing date of December 10. For more information go to the commissioner’s website www.northwales-pcc.gov.uk or the PACT website www.pactnorthwales.co.uk