Organisations which help to prevent crime and protect communities in Merseyside are being invited to apply for a share of a fund aimed at helping building stronger, safer communities.
This is the fifth year that Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy has opened the Crime Prevention Fund which is used to help charities, community groups and social enterprises stop problems before they occur, by reducing the opportunities for crime and by deterring people away from becoming involved in anti-social and criminal behaviour.
A total of £135,000 is available from the fund and the Commissioner is inviting groups to submit bids of between £5,000 and £25,000 for innovative community safety projects or schemes that will run over the next 12 months. For the last three years, the Commissioner has specifically urged organisations that are working to tackle the underlying causes of serious and organised crime to apply for funding and this has again been made a priority for this round of funding.
Jane said: “Serious and organised crime is, for many people in our region, their greatest concern. It blights our communities, bringing misery and harm and causing decent, ordinary people to live in fear.
“Merseyside Police allocates extensive resources to tackling this issue, but we cannot simply ‘police’ our way of this issue. We need to work with all our partners, particularly those in the community and voluntary sector to address the deep-seated, and often complex, causes of serious violence.
“Local people understand their communities better than anyone and know what will work best to improve their area. We are fortunate to have a wealth of voluntary and community groups which are working hard to prevent people, especially young people from getting involved with this type of crime and I want to hear from them.
“Through the Crime Prevention Fund, I want to see what more can be done to tackle this issue and with these grants I hope I can give organisations which are trying to address the root causes of this issue a valuable cash boost which will help to make a difference to communities across Merseyside.”
Last year, 14 grassroots organisations were chosen to share £135,000 from the Crime Prevention Fund from a total of 75 bids submitted. Many of the projects focused on preventing young people from getting involved with crime.
Jane said: “Sadly, we have seen really damaging cuts, not only to the police, but to a lot of our really important partner organisations which focus their efforts on community safety, such as the Youth Offending Teams, local authority crime prevention services and mental health provision, in recent years.
“The reduction in many of these services is being strongly felt in our communities, so I hope these small grants can be used to help to alleviate some of these cutbacks. I’ve met hundreds of people across Merseyside who are really proud and passionate about the places they live in and are committed to keeping them safe and I look forward to reviewing their proposals for how this fund can be best spent.”
Any organisation wishing to apply for funding will need to show how their project works to tackle the priorities set out in the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan - these are to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour; provide a visible and accessible neighbourhood policing style; tackle serious and organised crime and to support victims; protect vulnerable people and maintain public safety; and improve road safety.
Applications will also need to show how the initiatives will deter individuals from committing crime, reduce the number of people entering the criminal justice system, or lower reoffending. They will also be assessed to see how well they will protect vulnerable communities.
The fund will be administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside (CFM), an independent charity which assists grant-making and charitable giving. CFM is also available to help any organisation looking to make a bid.
The closing date for applications is 5pm on 24th June 2019.