£1 million of cash seized from criminals to benefit communities in West Yorkshire

Community groups working to improve safety are being urged to apply for a share of £1 million of funding made available today by the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin.

9 October 2023

£1 million of cash seized from criminals to benefit communities in West Yorkshire

Community groups working to improve safety are being urged to apply for a share of £1 million of funding made available today (09/10) by the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin.  

The Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund takes cash seized from criminal activities by police and prosecutors and grants it to projects that are making their neighbourhoods safer.  

With £1 million available, this is the largest Safer Communities Fund to date, bringing the fund’s total since 2021 to over £2.3 million.  

The theme of this grant round is ‘Multiple and Complex Needs’, a key priority of the Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan. Organisations working to reduce re-offending and support victims are encouraged to apply.  

Mayor Brabin said:  

“In West Yorkshire, we’re using the ill-gotten gains of criminals to build a safer, fairer region.  

“We have £1 million of cash seized from criminals to invest into projects working right at the heart of our communities.  

“If you have an idea that will make your local area and its residents safer, we want to hear from you.”  

West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable John Robins QPM DL said: 

“This is an opportunity for deserving causes who work to reduce re-offending and support victims of crime in West Yorkshire to benefit from asset seizures made by the police.”    

“I know that removing ill-gotten gains from criminals gives tremendous satisfaction to our officers.

"The fact that organisations who help make our communities stronger and safer are supported by the mayor’s fund is equally pleasing.”

Since 2021, the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund has supported 222 projects, benefitting 177,475 people across West Yorkshire including:   

  • Staying Put who used their funding to deliver domestic abuse and sexual violence awareness sessions for women and girls in Bradford.  
  • Out in the Valley are supporting older members of the LGBTQIA+ community, providing face to face meeting opportunities in a safe and inclusive environment. 
  • In Kirklees, Make Things Happen Football Club provided a youth club for 10–17-year-olds with mentoring and support to gain coaching qualifications.  
  • Stop Hate UK channelled their funding into a project working in Leeds schools to raise awareness and understanding of hate crime, the consequences, and the harm it causes.  
  • In Wakefield, Blossom Training and Development are offering training courses for women and girls in self-defence, as well as information on UK law, body language, and human behaviour.  

With this latest round of funding, organisations can apply for a grant from one of the three funding pots: 

  • Pot 1: Minimum of £15,000 – maximum of £20,000 from a pot of £750,000, to give larger projects more flexibility. 
  • Pot 2: Up to £8,000 from a pot of £250,000 for smaller initiatives. 
  • Pot 3: The collaboration pot – e.g. two organisations can apply together for a maximum of £40,000.

Organisations must apply for a grant by midday on 10 November 2023. Full terms and conditions, including more information on the theme and how to apply, are available on the West Yorkshire Combined Authority website.  

Anita Pluckwell, Head of Operations and Client Care at Staying Put, said:  

"Violence against women and girls is a huge issue globally, and in this country, with more than 1.6 million women reporting incidents ranging from rape to stalking, in the UK last year.  

“The Mayor's Safer Communities Fund has helped us to engage with women and girls across Bradford, to show them how to recognise the signs of abuse, how to broach the subject with friends and family if they suspect this may be happening, and where to get professional help and support." 

The Trustees of Out in the Valley, said:  

“Many older LGBTQ folk suffer loneliness and isolation because they are often estranged from their family, probably have no children and loss of a partner.  

“Our project, the rainbow group will help these older people to socialise and have mutual support in a safe environment. 

 “The West Yorkshire Mayor's Safer Communities Fund will be vital in our ability to implement the process of providing a safe and friendly space.” 

Steve Smith, Make Things Happen Football Club Chairman, said:  

“Make Things Happen Football Club have used sports as a vehicle with passion and desire to support local youth through their journey of life.  

“We have provided support, mentoring, and coaching from ages 5 to 20 years old to gain sports and life qualifications.” 

Rose Simkins, Chief Executive at Stop Hate UK, said:  

"Stop Hate UK are so grateful for the opportunity to reach more people, particularly young people, to help build a safer society for us all to live in.   

“We will work with schools in Leeds to ensure that those who are targeted because of who they are, are supported and protected and that we work together to stop hate." 

Madeleine France, Founder of Blossom Training and Development CIC said: 

“The Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund has enabled us to create a safe and inclusive space to deliver our unique empowerment self-confidence through self-defence training. 

“This is allowing us to influence change and promote positives outcomes through effective education and training focused on ending violence against women and girls, by building confident, resilient, and courageous women and girls.”