Projects Secure Cash Seized from Criminals

16th December 2016

Projects throughout Gwent which aim to use cash seized from criminals to make a positive difference in their communities are celebrating their share of almost £220,000 awarded by the Police and Crime Commissioner today.

A total of 90 projects have been awarded a slice of £218,246 awarded by Gwent PCC Jeff Cuthbert from his Partnership Fund. The Partnership Fund grant scheme is funded by the proceeds of crime awarded to the police and from the sale of unclaimed found property. This includes money seized from organised crime and convicted drug dealers who have been ordered to pay back their ill-gotten gains (full list of awards in link at end of release).

Nearly 170 applications amounting to a total of nearly £900,000 were submitted under the latest round (June 2016) from charities, voluntary organisations and community groups in Gwent involved in activities that have a positive impact on their communities in preventing crime and anti-social behaviour.

Each group was able to apply for up to £10,000 and had to demonstrate how their project would deliver against specific areas of focus highlighted by the Commissioner which include preventing crime; protecting people from serious harm; taking more effective action to tackle anti-social behaviour; and providing better opportunities for some of the most vulnerable and excluded people in the community.

After much deliberation, the long wait is now over for the community groups vying for the money. Some of the successful groups announced today include:

  • £5,000 for the Vision of Hope Animal Assisted Therapy project in Gilwern, Monmouthshire - a farm where young people with substance misuse issues and former offenders can go to live and work and benefit from on-site treatment and therapy relating to the care of animals;
  • £500 for the Messy Fingers nursery in Cwmbran to buy new toys and equipment after they lost everything when Coed Eva Primary School in the town was burnt down in an arson attack earlier this year;
  • £3,000 for the Street Pastors in Newport to purchase new equipment and uniforms for their volunteers so that they can continue their excellent work on Friday and Saturday nights in being a calming influence in the streets of the city and assisting vulnerable people to make their way home safely;
  • £1,200 for BRfm, a local community Radio station in Brynmawr, Blaenau Gwent, to establish an intergenerational communications centre for local news;
  • £1,000 for RecRock in Caerphilly to enable young people aged 11-25 who attend the club to purchase equipment and work towards an "open mike" performance evening where they can develop and showcase their skills.

Congratulating all of the projects on their success, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said:

"I would like to congratulate all the projects funded on their success. This money will have a real positive impact on the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and will offer opportunities for people who are disaffected or disengaged. Some of the projects will use their awards to repair the damage which has been caused by criminal activity and it's fantastic to see the ill-gotten gains of criminals being put back into the hands of the law-abiding majority here in Gwent. My Partnership Fund is allows people to do what they think is best for their community which is exactly how things should be."