Seven grassroots organisations which run innovative projects aimed at cutting crime and preventing reoffending will share a total of £88,000, thanks to Merseyside’s Police Commissioner's Crime Prevention Fund.
Jane Kennedy received an overwhelming response from community groups, charities and third sector organisations after opening applications for grants from the fund for 2015. A total of 113 bids were submitted for grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 amounting to £1,570,874 being requested.
The aim of the fund is to help local groups protect their communities, by stopping problems before they occur, reducing the opportunities for crime and by preventing people from becoming involved with anti-social and illegal behaviour.
Today, Jane has announced the seven successful organisations which will each be given a share of this first round of funding to make a difference in their neighbourhoods.
Among the successful organisations were the Ariel Trust who have been awarded £15,000 to deliver their INOK education programme to schools across Merseyside and expand it to include primary schools, to raise awareness and prevent violence, including domestic abuse, homophobic and racial bullying, cyber bullying, alcohol misuse and anti-social behaviour.
The Commissioner also awarded £18,800 to Liverpool County FA to enable them to run a Merseyside-wide competition for hard to reach young people aged between 14 and 16, with the aim of getting them to commit to a six week football, education and training programme to prevent them from becoming involved in anti-social or illegal behaviour.
A pilot scheme to upgrade the security of homes of domestic abuse victims, an initiative to support female offenders in St Helens to prevent them from re-offending and an education programme delivered by reformed offenders are also set to benefit from the grants.
Jane said: “The overwhelming response I received after launching this fund demonstrates the wealth of innovative and ingenious projects that are going on right across Merseyside to help keep our communities safe.
“The number of applications submitted was staggering and the quality was incredibly high.
“The seven successful organisations I am delighted to announce will receive financial support have demonstrated real passion, drive and commitment and with a cash boost from the Crime Prevention Fund they will be able to make a real difference in their communities and across Merseyside, preventing crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Taking a more preventative approach to crime is not only cost-effective, but it delivers better results in the long-term, with fewer victims and safer communities.
“I am really excited about seeing these projects in action and I look forward to visiting them during 2015/16 to see first-hand the work they are doing to meet my priority of tackling crime and reducing reoffending.”
Organisations who applied for the funding needed to show how their project would work to tackle the objectives set out in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan. These include tackling serious and organised crime, reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, providing a visible and accessible neighbourhood policing style, maintaining public safety and taking effective action against all forms of hate crime.
Applications needed to demonstrate how the initiative would deter individuals from committing crime, reduce the number of people entering the criminal justice system, or lower reoffending. They were also assessed to see how well they would protect vulnerable communities.
Jane added: “This funding is giving community groups, who want to make Merseyside an even safer place to live, the opportunity to put their ideas into practice and I can’t wait to see the results.”
Find out more about the response to the Crime Prevention Fund 2015 below:
Apex Charitable Trust £10,000
One of the few organisations operating locally in Merseyside to promote the rehabilitation of offenders and prevent re-offending, particularly among women offenders. They aim to help people with a criminal record age 16+ to overcome barriers to employment by providing a range of specialist and proven one-to-one support programmes. They have a strong track record of helping people overcome the barriers to change.
Their ‘Clear Choices’ project delivers practical support to address employability issues for non-statutory prolific & priority offenders residing in St Helens. Clear Choices will address engagement, motivation, skills, learning, resilience and best practice in securing employment. Clear Choices is a programme highlighting links between choices and consequences. It will deliver one to one support with provision for additional group work.
Find out more about Apex Charitable Trust
Ariel Trust It’s Not OK (INOK) £15,000
The INOK partnership manage an established violence prevention education programme providing interactive resources to teachers, enabling them to respond in positive ways to social issues including domestic abuse, homophobic and racial bullying, cyber-bullying, alcohol misuse and anti-social behaviour.
This funding will enable them to ensure schools across Merseyside continue to use the software and that teachers have the support needed to deliver the programme. A particular focus will be engaging a new audience of younger pupils. During 2015/16 the focus will be to engage primary schools across Merseyside and provide their teachers with training and support to introduce the CyberSense programme.
Find out more about It's Not Ok
CELLS main objective is to educate children and young people about the consequences of crime, to encourage them to make informed choices and pursue positive alternatives.
They have many workshops, interactive presentations and props, including a mobile and static prison cells and sweat box simulation. The main strength of the scheme though, is the CELLS team itself which consists of people who have been affected by crime, mainly reformed offenders, rehabilitated drug users and victims of crime, violence and abuse. This funding will enable CELLS to expand their project across Merseyside.
Find out more about CELLS
Community Safe £10,819
Community Safe will receive funding to pilot a scheme that upgrades security to the homes of victims of domestic abuse.
The pilot aims to protect vulnerable individuals and families through upgrading the security measures of their homes, with the aim of stopping perpetrators gaining access. Funding will be used to provide a range of security measures that have been proven to work for domestic violence cases.
Find out more about Community Safe
Liverpool County FA £18,800
This programme consists of a six week block of football activities that are participant-led for 14 – 16 year olds. All sessions will be run in and around community centres during evening hours across Merseyside targeting hard to reach young people.
The aim is for the young people to commit to all six weeks of sessions consisting of football, education and training, which culminates in a semi-final at Walton Hall Park and a final at Goodison Park under floodlights. The funding will be used to support the venue hire for some of the centres for the training, equipment, coaching, refereeing, training & education courses.
Find out more Liverpool County FA
Phoenix Community Youth Project £7,581.52
The Phoenix Outreach Project will work in partnership with Merseyside Police’s Community Support Officers (PCSOs), identifying and developing relationships with young people who are either involved or at risk of becoming involved in Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). It will focus on diverting them away from such behaviour and into the Phoenix Project, or other youth provision, where they can take part in a structured programme of activities with an emphasis on sport and health related activities, including healthy eating, sexual health information and support.
Find out more about the Phoenix Community Youth Project
South Liverpool Domestic Violence Project £15,819
This project follows on from South Liverpool Domestic Abuse Service’s (SLDAS) on-going work with young people aged 14-19 who have experience of domestic abuse, through their school network. This follow-on programme will work with women students aged 18-25 across the three Universities in Liverpool, addressing the issue of Violence Against Women; from serious physical and/ or sexual assault to unwanted touching in the Night Time Economy as well as addressing abusive relationships.
Find out more about SLDAS