Lord Willy Bach, Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, has announced he is making a further £250,000 available for Crime Prevention purposes.
The Commissioner, who launched his Crime Prevention Fund last year, has decided to sustain this successful initiative in 2018-19.
The Fund provides local organisations with a financial lifeline in their work to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour.
Grants of up to £25,000 are available for organisations whose projects successfully address the PCC’s priorities which include tackling hate crime, domestic violence and abuse, Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), sports-based initiatives and projects, drug and alcohol-related problems, sexual violence and mental health.
Grants will be allocated in a two-tiered system of up to £9,999 and £10,000-£25,000.
Funding grants for projects of £10,000 and above will only be awarded for exceptional projects.
Willy Bach said: “Grants from my Crime Prevention Fund are available to groups or organisations which help to prevent crime with positive and proactive activities and projects working to keep people safe.
“Too often really good ideas don’t get the traction they deserve through lack of funding.
“Last year we helped numerous really worthwhile projects and I’m hopeful that we will receive the same calibre of applications this time.
“Many groups have already achieved a lot thanks to this fund. It has proved its worth time and again. I hope that 2018-19 is just as successful.
“My advice to groups, especially those with new ideas and projects who might be hesitant about applying, is to come forward and put in an application. We certainly can’t help if we don’t know that you need support.”
Grants are available for new initiatives, existing successful projects where funding is tight or to enable existing projects to develop further. Applicants will be asked to consider the aims of the Police and Crime Plan when submitting a bid.
The funding is available throughout the year with no deadline for applications.
Each application will be reviewed and evaluated personally by the Commissioner.
The budget for policing Leicestershire in 2018/19 has received the unanimous backing of its independent scrutiny body, thus securing 76 officer posts; boosting the number of investigators working on sexual assaults and enabling an investment in technology to improve efficiency.
Lord Willy Bach, Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, who presented his budget proposals to the Police and Crime Panel this week (31st January) said that the decision would strengthen neighbourhood policing which is what the public have told him they want to see.
“In considering my options, I was determined to lay safe foundations for future years, but the options available were not exactly plentiful.
“The government’s own calculations assume that Police and Crime Commissioners will raise the precept by £12 a year for an average property.
“The Policing Minister’s proposals to raise more funding for policing are not wholly unwelcome, but I am disappointed that the entire burden is to be placed on local residents without any increase from the central funding pot. However, I am tremendously grateful for the support I have received from local taxpayers indicating their willingness to pay more for police services.
“This budget sets out to address the key risks and threats to public safety and to meet the Chief Constable’s needs from an operational perspective. It will protect police service delivery for the communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. It focusses on increasing the time spent on frontline policing and making officers more accessible to the public.
“I am also confident that we are clearly meeting the Minister’s own priorities. The budget report highlights our approach to the transparent and effective use of our reserves, the focus on improving productivity and efficiency and investment in digital technology to enhance mobile working.
“Having scrutinised my proposals in depth, the panel supported the budget and in doing so, approved the 6.41 per cent increase in the policing precept. It’s good news for policing and good news for communities.”
Chief Constable Simon Cole said:
“I am extremely pleased that Lord Bach has developed proposals that will enable us to dedicate more effort and resource in local, neighbourhood policing, and into tackling serious sexual offences and emerging crime types like cyber-crime.
“He has done so with the support of many hundreds of people who took part in a survey about the proposed rise in the amount of money local residents pay for policing, and with the full backing of the Police and Crime Panel.
“The budget will enable us to replace 52 officers as they retire that we would otherwise have not been able to afford to replace. We can also grow by 24 officers, with three going to each neighbourhood to look at cyber-crime, fraud, sexual offences and modern slavery. That means 76 officers more than we had expected.
“In addition we will gain four further sexual offences investigators, and add a positive action post to help us recruit a workforce that ever more closely represents our diverse communities.
“We will invest in middleware that helps our mobile kit work more effectively and in mobile fingerprint ID technology too.”
The net revenue budget for policing in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland 2018/19 has been set at £176.255m which includes a contribution of £5.058M from reserves.
The total amount paid towards policing by a Band D household will go from £187.23 in the current financial year to £199.23 in 2018/19.
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.
The PCC has promised to plough £250,000 into community work in 2017-18 which helps keep Leicestershire safe and delivers lasting positive changes on vulnerable people.
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.
After a week in which Police and Crime Commissioners revealed the cost of meeting the rise in crime and protecting the public, Leicestershire’s PCC Lord Willy Bach said that safety should never be compromised as a result of funding cuts.
Evidence gathered by both PCCs and Police Chiefs shows that £440m extra is required in 2018/19 and £845m in 2019/20, an increase of 1.5% to 2% more than inflation in each year.
The rise in funding would provide an additional 5,000 officers to deal with increased local policing demands from new sorts of crime and increasing complexity, and an armed policing uplift of a further 1,100 officers.
The Government’s current funding arrangements, in place since the 2015 Spending Review, claim that overall police spending has been protected, in real terms, between 2015/16 to 2019/20.
However, due to the change in demand, the current “flat cash” settlement for local forces, which does not insulate them from inflation or the recent changes in the national pay settlement, is no longer considered sufficient.
Over the past five years police budgets have reduced by £2.3bn, representing a 25% cut in grant. Police numbers have gone down by 20,000, meaning there are less police on the streets. In fact, police numbers are at their lowest for 30 years.
Willy Bach said:
“The demands on the police are constantly increasing. Leicestershire Police received a record number of 999 calls on Tuesday (31 Oct) due to Halloween and a series of serious and resource-intensive incidents.
“During one four-hour period, the force received an average of one 999 call every minute.
“If it was just one night, that would be one thing, but it’s not. Crime is going up, nationally and locally.
“Crime is more complex, diverse and time-intensive than at any time in our recent history.
“We have fewer officers and we are asking more of them. We need officers to tackle issues such as cyber-crime and terrorism. The public rightly expect to see officers on the street.
“We need officers to investigate crimes and bring those responsible to justice. The population is rising. It is a perfect storm waiting to happen.
“I am quite clear that we simply cannot afford to compromise our approach to issues such as counter-terrorism, work which has naturally intensified this year, child sexual exploitation and on-line criminality.
“Policing terrorism is obviously as much about preparing for attacks and protecting people and businesses as it is about quickly catching those responsible afterwards. I know the force work hard at doing that and I want to see that continue if not increase.?
“The tragic events this year have seen a massive level of support come from forces including here in Leicestershire. We want to be able to continue to offer this support and any reduction in funding might make this difficult.
“I believe that nationally we need to invest in counter-terrorism activity. And that’s not just specialist officers, but the whole policing family who play such a huge role in intelligence gathering and response to the horrific attacks we have witnessed this year.
“Further budget cuts – otherwise known as the flat cash ‘protected’ settlement – are simply doing those who seek to protect us a disservice.”
Once again the Marriott Hotel in Enderby hosted a celebration of individuals and groups from the District of Blaby, who were recognised for their selfless work within their communities.
The eight finalists and their families joined special guests and sponsors on Thursday 05 October to enjoy the evening, as unsung heroes of Blaby District were honoured.
BBC East Midlands Today’s Maurice Flynn hosted the ceremony.
Finalists included Whetstone Good Neighbour Scheme, which only launched in 2016. Volunteers help older people in the village with everyday tasks, enabling them to be more independent. Their fantastic work saw the group receive NINE nominations.
In the Good Friend/Good Neighbour category, Glenfield-based David Whotton took the award for his fantastic work in ensuring his road, Farmers Close is a tight-knit community.
Christine Whittingham was crowned as Category B’s Volunteer of the Year. She has contributed over 10 years of volunteering to Home-Start Blaby District, which offers support, friendship and practical help to families in the local area.
Young Achiever of the Year Molly Lambert grew her hair for a year and donated the proceeds, and the hair, to the Little Princess Trust. Molly is also active at her college and within the Diabetes Choir as well as a champion of LGBT awareness.
Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council, said:
“This is the fourteenth consecutive year we have held the awards, where we take the opportunity to shine the spotlight on those individuals or groups who have enhanced people’s lives.
“What makes this event so unique is that it is fellow residents who take the time and trouble to submit nominations frequently, without the knowledge of those who they have nominated.
“Whilst we do select a winner and runner up in each category, every person or group nominated are, in my view, winners. This year’s finalists are just a reflection of some of the thousands of selfless volunteers and groups who make the District of Blaby such a great place to live.
“I want to congratulate all the finalists and to personally thank our sponsors who make this event possible.”
The awards are funded entirely through the generous sponsorship county-based businesses: Main sponsors Davidsons Homes along with category sponsors Fosse, Marriott Leicester, Ford and Slater and Westleigh Partnerships.
Full list of winners and runners up:
Good Friend/Good Neighbour
– Winner: David Whotton (Glenfield), Runner-up: Angela Corby (Narborough)Volunteer of the Year
– Winner: Christine Whittingham (Braunstone Town), Runner-up: Dave Taylor (Blaby)Young Achiever of Year
– Winner: Molly Lambert (Countesthorpe College), Runner-up: Chloe Lake (Braunstone Town)Best Community Group/Community Achievement
– Winner: Whetstone Good Neighbour Scheme, Runner Up: CC Buzz (district-wide, based in Countesthorpe)
For more information on all of the finalists visit the Blaby District Council website page “Achievement Awards 2017“, or email
email@example.com or call 0116 272 7577.