Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach today hailed the success of grassroots community work which is transforming the lives of vulnerable people and those at risk of committing crime.
Since March, the PCC has invested more than £130,000 from his Prevention Fund into local projects which help victims recover from their experiences, address societal problems and rehabilitate offenders – with some £120,000 of the fund still available.
So far, grants have been invested in a wide range of areas and include those that support families affected by substance misuse, projects which provide “drop in” centres for vulnerable people and others that support domestic violence survivors to prevent re-exploitation.
A major part of this community work has also focused on tackling hate crime with projects aimed at encouraging victims to report crime, services to deliver advice and schools-based help intervention for asylum seekers and refugees.
This month, the PCC visited project leaders behind the Drop the Knife and Live Your Life initiative.
The project, being delivered by Beaumont Leys training provider E2, was recently awarded £12,500 from the Fund for 2017-18 followed by £12,499.80 in 2018-19 to deliver youth consultation and research, analysis and educational intervention to tackle knife crime among young people in Leicestershire.
With cash still available, organisations which require funding to support their crime prevention work are being reminded to apply as soon as possible.
Willy Bach said:
“Our partners on the ground are really making a difference to people’s lives, supporting them through trauma, hardship and life’s problems to close the door on a life of crime or victimisation.
“Helping people tackle their problems is the most effective way of reducing crime and harm from our streets in the long-term and reinforces everything the police do to protect people.
“We need to think outside the box to have a meaningful impact on public safety and I really like that this fund champions innovation and enables new approaches to get off the ground.
“There are so many ways of approaching a problem because there never is one single cause and I’m incredibly grateful to our partners in the community who give us the breadth of expertise and resources to solve them, individually, and get people back on the right road to recovery.”
The Prevention Fund is designed to help voluntary and third sector groups support the public safety goals in the PCC’s Police and Crime Plan as well as confront pressing community issues.
Among those celebrating in the first round of the grants scheme was Leicester Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Centre which received £9,945 for its LGBT and Hate Crime Ambassador project.
The initiative will address the issue of under-reporting of LGBT and hate incidents through the recruitment of volunteer ambassadors.
Another recipient included the Shama Women’s Centre for its ESCAPE project which empowers and supports women and girls from the BME community in their recovery from domestic violence, hate crime and mental health issues.
Grants of up to £25,000 are available in 2017-18 for organisations whose projects successfully address the PCC’s crime priority areas which include hate crime, domestic violence and abuse, Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), drug and alcohol-related problems, sexual violence and mental health.
The funding is available all year and there is no deadline for applications. For more details and to apply, visit www.leics.pcc.police.uk/funding-2017-18.