Community facilities set for makeover thanks to seized criminal profits

Published on: Friday, 13th September 2019

Community facilities across Derbyshire have shared almost £115k towards vital repair and restoration work under a scheme which pumps the ill-gotten gains of criminals back into crime prevention.

Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa allocated individual grants of up to £25,000 to sports clubs and community assets to improve local life and increase participation in community-run projects as part of his NICE (Neighbourhoods Investing Criminal Earnings) Fund.

The fund was launched to provide one-off financial support to community capital projects which leave a lasting legacy on their communities and help to deter crime.

The funding represents a proportion of the total income confiscated from criminals in Derbyshire over the past 12 months under the Proceeds of Crime Act. This legislation allows police officers to seize cash and recover assets and property which have been bought by criminals with their illegal profits and includes property, cars and jewellery.

Mr Dhindsa said: "Criminal activity ruins lives and communities and it is entirely justified that the money seized from offending is reinvested back into our neighbourhoods to discourage young people from making the same mistakes.

"These grants help to protect much-loved community facilities for future generations, encourage communities to come together and celebrate diversity and increase the opportunities available for young and vulnerable people, helping to channel their energy in positive ways.

"The competition for funding remains tough and it is difficult to choose between all the projects which apply for funding. For those who were unsuccessful, there are other grant schemes available throughout the year and I would advise visiting my website for further information."

The NICE Fund is additional to the £250,000 the PCC invests annually into grassroots crime prevention as part of his Community Safety Fund.

POCA investigations can be complex and lengthy, involving a host of experts from specialist police officers and criminal lawyers to tax investigators.  Any income retrieved from criminals is split between the Home Office and the different agencies involved in recovering the money.

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