Cash seized from criminals to benefit community causes

The Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner has called on neighbourhood groups and community projects to bid for funds from the latest round of her ‘Operation Payback’ scheme.

Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 10:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 11:22 am
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness.

Kim McGuinness says the aim of the initiative, where cash seized from criminals is handed back to good causes, is to help prevent crime and anti-social behaviour across the force area.

Grassroot projects and causes can bid for a share of the £130,000 pot of funding, setting out how they would use a grant to benefit their community and support the work of Northumbria Police.

The commissioner said: “This is what we all want to see as cash seized from criminals in the North East is being put back where it belongs – into the grassroots of local communities.

“I want to see this money end up in the right hands. This includes the volunteers, the doers, those who know the needs of their community and are doing things that make a real, positive difference to local lives.

“It’s about empowering local groups to find solutions that work in their community.”

The funding initiative will offer micro grants of up to £1,000 or larger grants of up to £5,000, and so the hunt is on for stand-out projects that have a really positive impact at a local level, particularly those struggling with poverty and those areas affected by high crime rates.

In the years to come, the fund will be topped up with money seized from criminal activity under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Ms McGuinness added: “The best way we can help our police is by helping prevent crime in the first place, rather than leaving them to pick up the pieces.

“I want as many people as possible to know about this opportunity – it’s a chance to make good things happen in your area and to really empower those behind a worthwhile project.”

Applications are welcome from communities, charities, social enterprise or voluntary groups from within the Northumbria Police force area.

Applications close on Friday, December 3. The commissioner will announce final decisions in January.

Anyone who requires further information about Operation Payback should email [email protected]