Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles has today (Monday) approved a host of funding grants for projects aimed at reducing crime and protecting vulnerable people.
As part of his Crime Prevention Grants scheme, Commissioner Charles has agreed to provide funding to four community-based ventures which deliver crime prevention measures with the goal of making Derbyshire safer.
Through his role as a facilitator of criminal justice services, Commissioner Charles is responsible for allocating funding to external organisations whose work supports the aims of his Police and Crime Plan. He has set aside £250,000 for 2013-14 to support projects which are based around reducing offending and anti-social behaviour, protecting victims and vulnerable people and supporting witnesses. Organisations can apply for a small grant of up to £5,000 or a large grant of between £5,000 and £25,000 and have three opportunities throughout the year to submit an application.
Commissioner Charles worked closely with partners at Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council before determining the beneficiaries. In the first round of grants, he has awarded £2,000 to Our Vision Our Future, a Self Advocacy Group run by and for adults with Learning Disabilities. The funding will assist in the delivery of a hate crime presentation by those using the service to raise awareness of the problem.
Jo Sutton, Project Co-ordinator, of Our Vision Our Future, said: “This funding will enable us to continue our work in junior and secondary schools over the coming year. It is an extremely powerful presentation which makes a real impact on students. The presenters (people with learning disabilities) give a clear message about what hate crime is and first-hand accounts of how it can affect individual lives. The session allows students to develop empathy through hearing the perspective of a group of people they may not normally listen to.”
Meanwhile, Remedi (Restorative Justice Services), a voluntary sector organisation specialising in providing restorative justice services, has been granted funding worth £25,000 to help undertake victim contact and preparation and enable victims of anti-social behaviour to take part in the Community Justice Panel Process.
Remedi’s director, Steve Jones, commented: “Remedi are delighted to have been successful in our application for a funding grant from the Derbyshire PCC. The funding will enable us to recruit and train dedicated staff and volunteers to better enable communities to engage with the community justice panel process- a means of effectively addressing issues of anti-social behaviour and community conflict with the victims of those instances an integral part of the process.
“We are proud to be associated with the office of the Police Crime Commissioner in Derbyshire and feel strongly that the grant programme demonstrates a clear commitment to genuine partnership working and to improving the lives of people/communities affected by anti-social behaviour.”
Derby-based Safe and Sound, a charity which campaigns against child exploitation and supports victims, is to receive £23,639 to provide on-going projects, workshops and DVDs to reduce the risk of such abuse and raise awareness of the problem.
Nathalie Walters, Chief Executive, said: “As a charity we rely on grants and donations to enable us to provide vital support services to victims of child sexual exploitation and their families. We’d like to thank the Police and Crime Commissioner for his support; this funding will make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable children, young people and families in Derby.”
Commissioner Charles has also approved a grant of £5,000 to Rhubarb Farm in Langwith, an environmental social enterprise helping the unemployed, recovering alcohol and drug misusers, ex-offenders and people with learning disabilities to build skills and confidence. The funding will help to provide a poly tunnel to support infrastructure for work with ex-offenders.
Jenny Street, managing director, said: “We are really delighted to receive this grant. It will give us more facilities and more space for our work with ex-offenders.”
Finally, a grant of £7,619 has been allocated to the Volunteer Centre, Buxton and District, to help protect victims of crime through the purchase/installation of security systems in the homes of vulnerable people.
Alistair Rogerson, deputy manager of the centre, said: “This money will allow us to provide help to more vulnerable people at risk of crime, and the publicity from receiving the grant will make more people aware of the free service.”
Commenting on the first phase of grant allocation, Commissioner Charles said: “These projects are great examples of the work taking place on the ground in Derbyshire to make the county a safer place to live. Preventative work not only eases pressure on the frontline it also promotes long-term positive changes within individuals, helping offenders to adopt healthier, happier lifestyles. Such improvements will have far-reaching benefits for community safety but also our health service and policing, freeing up much-needed public funds.
“Our partners working in the community have a growing role to play in building safer neighbourhoods and I’m delighted to provide financial help to assist this process. In light of the continuing economic pressures, the need to identify early solutions to localised crime is vital if we are to reduce the costs of crime to society and restore quality of life.”
Those selected for grants will be monitored for results to enable the Commissioner to assess their crime reduction value and ensure public funds are being used in the best way.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012
Posted on Monday 24th June 2013