Over half a million pounds seized from criminals will now benefit West Yorkshire communities

The safety of communities across West Yorkshire has been bolstered thanks to over £500,000 of cash seized from criminals.

10th February 2023

The safety of communities across West Yorkshire has been bolstered thanks to over £500,000 of cash seized from criminals.

The Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin’s, Safer Communities Fund, uses money recovered by West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors from criminal activities, and gives it to community projects working to make their local area safer.

At the fund’s awards ceremony yesterday (09/02), 73 projects collected cheques worth a total of £506,097.

This is the largest Safer Communities Fund to date and brings the total amount of funding from the Mayor to over £1 million.

Speaking about the fund, Mayor Brabin said:

“We want every community in West Yorkshire to thrive and be safe.

“To do so, we are empowering local organisations to help their neighbourhoods through money taken from the hands of criminals.

"These projects, right across the region, are making their local areas feel safer, and it's great that we can come together and recognise their efforts."

The theme of this grant round was ‘Safer Places and Thriving Communities’, a key priority in the Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan. Funded projects include:

  • Emerge in Bradford who are putting their funding towards working with young people in Holme Wood and Bierley.
  • Behind Closed Doors will be delivering a healthy relationships programme for young women aged 13-16 in Leeds.
  • The Egalitarian are using their funding to deliver a spiking and sexual violence awareness course to bar staff and management in Wakefield.
  • Bumpy in Kirklees will be using motorbikes and motorbike maintenance to work with young people at risk of anti-social behaviour.
  • Unmasked Mental Health are launching a weekly mental health hub in Calderdale to support people who are homeless or vulnerable.

West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable John Robins QPM DL, said:

“I really welcome this latest round of grants that is provided by the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund.

“It means that the seized proceeds of criminality can be put to good use through its distribution to these deserving community groups.

“Projects like these play a vital role in preventing crime, protecting vulnerable people and reassuring our communities across West Yorkshire.

“I am pleased that the successful disruption of criminal behaviour by our officers means the ill-gotten gains can now be reinvested into such community projects.

“The projects supported across West Yorkshire are inspirational and it is great to see the work they are doing in our communities.”

Ruth Davany, CEO of Behind Closed Doors in Leeds said:

“Behind Closed Doors works with people and families in Leeds who have experienced domestic abuse, and we act to prevent it.

“We are delighted to be awarded a Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund grant to develop our Healthy Relationships programme with girls and young women in Leeds, working collaboratively with LS-Ten and the alternative education providers in Leeds.”

Andy Sykes, CEO of Emerge in Bradford said:

“Emerge will use the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund to develop our work with young people in Holme Wood and Bierley.

“We’ll engage young people on the streets in the afternoons and evenings and develop a group for lads and a group for girls to talk about and address the things which matter most to them.

“Through this project, young people will hopefully develop their teamwork skills and understanding of their own and others’ emotions, and collectively contribute to being safer and feeling safer in their communities.”

Carolyne Kenzitt, CEO of Bumpy in Kirklees said:

“Bumpy’s intention is to tackle the ongoing issues around the illegal use of motorcycles within our communities.

“We will engage with young people from areas of North Kirklees, and our focus is early intervention and prevention.

“The young people will take part in a full off road motorcycle training course, to teach them how to ride safely and legally.”

Della Claydon, co-founder of the Egalitarian in Wakefield said:

“Our project is a holistic, victim focussed certification scheme that trains bar staff and management on how to identify, prevent and respond to spiking, sexual violence, hate crimes and other forms of inappropriate in the night time economy.

“The funding from the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund will allow us to improve safety standards in Wakefield by introducing a Safe Place campaign, creating a safeguarding ethos, and empowering victims to report incidents to venues and deter perpetrators.

“We in turn hope to increase criminal justice outcomes and make systemic change to the current narrative towards victims.”

Unmasked Mental Health said:

“Unmasked Mental Health have been working hard to help unmask the stigma of mental health, of talking about bad days, sad days, low mood, and stresses of life.

“Sometimes we just need a space to talk about what’s going on for us, it may not change a situation, but it can make the situation feel different.

“Unmasked provide these spaces to talk via the Unmasked app, our peer support hubs, mental health training/qualifications and our low-cost counselling service.

“Unmasked cannot survive without funding and donations for which we are extremely grateful. We’d like to give thanks to the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund for providing funding for us to help create more hubs with our community which in turn continues to help unmask the stigma of mental health.”

Find out more about the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund and the projects it supports.