Police Commissioner invites ‘imaginative’ bids to keep young people safe over autumn half term

Merseyside’s police commissioner is inviting community groups to submit ‘imaginative’ bids for projects which will divert young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour during the autumn half-term; essential work in spite of the challenges posed by Covid-19.

Police property act fund posterJane Kennedy has announced that she is releasing a new round of funding from the Police Property Act Fund (PPA), which allows money raised from the sale of unclaimed stolen goods or property recovered by the police to be used for good causes.

It is the eleventh time the commissioner has invited community organisations, charities and groups to apply for grants of up to £5,000 for grassroots initiatives which are working to help young people to make the right choices.

This year the commissioner is encouraging community groups to be even more creative in their bids into the £45,000 fund given the challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak and the current restrictions on large gatherings.

Jane said, “I am delighted to once again open up the Police Property Act Fund for bids of up to £5,000 to organisations which are engaging with local young people during the busy autumn half term, with the aim of making their communities safer.

“Local people know their communities best. They know what works when engaging with young people. Running diversionary projects and activities is going be harder than normal this year given the current challenges imposed by the Covid-19 crisis, but I know how creative community groups across Merseyside can be and they will not be deterred.

“I would encourage everyone applying to be as imaginative and ingenious as possible about how we can involve young people in safe, well-run, organised activities during Halloween and Bonfire Night despite the current restrictions.”

Jane has awarded more than £420,000 through the PPA to organisations that are making a difference in their communities over the last eight years. Since July 2015, she has used the fund to specifically focus on youth engagement initiatives.

Last year, this small pot of funding was shared between 24 community groups and used to deliver safe, organised activities for approximately 11,000 young people over the Halloween and Bonfire Night period.

Jane said: “Halloween and Bonfire Night are times of great fun and excitement for many people across Merseyside, but sometimes it can go too far and sadly some communities still experience a rise in criminal and anti-social behaviour. This usually makes it a particularly busy time for the police and the fire service.

“Through these grants, I want to help alleviate these issues and prevent local young people from making mistakes they may later regret. Once a young person gets a criminal record it can blight their future prospects. By using these grants to fund a wide range of well-organised community activities, I hope we can help to prevent young people from getting drawn into any activities which could become intimidating, anti-social or even dangerous to other members of the community.

“These projects will support the excellent diversionary work carried out by Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, ensuring that young people can enjoy the autumn festivities in a safe and enjoyable way which is properly supervised.”

The PPA fund is administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, (CFM) on behalf of the commissioner. CFM holds funds from individuals and organisations as donors who wish to support deserving causes in Merseyside.

All applications must be submitted online via the Community Foundation for Merseyside by 5pm on Monday 28th September 2020. To apply, please visit the Community Foundation for Merseyside website.

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