Commissioner urges community groups to work together to prevent crime




Organisations which will work together to help prevent crime and protect communities in Merseyside are being invited to apply for a share of a fund aimed at helping building stronger, safer communities.

This is the fourth year that Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy has opened the Crime Prevention Fund, which is used to help charities, community groups and social enterprises stop problems before they occur, by reducing the opportunities for crime and by deterring people away from becoming involved in anti-social and criminal behaviour.

A total of £135,000 is available from the fund for innovative community safety projects or schemes that will run over the next 12 months. This year the Commissioner is encouraging organisations to work together to submit bids for between £5,000 and £25,000 from the grant and she is specifically inviting applications for project which focus on tackling serious and organised crime.

Jane said: “Serious and organised crime is, for many people, their greatest concern. It blights our communities, bringing misery and harm and causing decent, ordinary people to live in fear.

“Many organisations and community groups are already working with Merseyside Police and my office in tackling this issue, and I want to encourage and maximise this collaborative approach by encouraging organisations to join forces to bid for funding from the Crime Prevention Fund.

“Local people understand their communities better than anyone and know what will work best to improve their area.  We are fortunate to have a wealth of voluntary and community groups which are working hard to prevent people, especially young people from getting involved in crime. By pooling resources and working even closer together we can all do more to make a difference for communities across Merseyside.

“I’ve met hundreds of people across Merseyside who are really proud and passionate about the places they live in and are committed to keeping them safe and I’m excited to see their proposals for how this funding can be best spent.”

Last year, 13 grassroots organisations were chosen from among more than 70 applications to receive a share of the Fund to help make communities across Merseyside safer. Successful organisations included the Royal Court Trust, which was awarded £25,000 to continue to run the hard-hitting drama Terriers, and the educational charity Ariel Trust who received £15,000 to deliver preventative education to young people on a range of issues, including domestic and homophobic abuse, child sexual exploitation and grooming.

A £10,000 grant was also given to Breckfield and North Everton Neighbourhood Council (BNEC) to help them deliver their Making Waves project which delivers both outreach and centre-based services for young people living in areas of high deprivation to divert them away from crime.

Jane said: “Over the last year, this funding has helped to deliver some really important projects which have made a profound difference in the lives of the people they support. Even a small cash boost can be of huge benefit to many of these grassroots projects and I look forward to seeing what more we can deliver together over the next 12 months.

Any organisation wishing to apply for funding will need to show how their project works to tackle one of the following four priorities set out by the Commissioner; preventing crime and anti-social behaviour; tackling serious and organised crime; supporting victims, protecting vulnerable people and maintaining public safety; or improving road safety.

Applications will also need to show how the initiatives will deter individuals from committing crime, reduce the number of people entering the criminal justice system, or lower reoffending. They will also be assessed to see how well they will protect vulnerable communities.

The fund will be administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside (CFM), an independent charity which assists grant-making and charitable giving. Local groups who would benefit from the funding can find more details on its website here http://www.cfmerseyside.org.uk//funds/crime-prevention-fund

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