A Denbighshire town’s award-winning floral displays are set to be given a boost by cash seized from the ill-gotten gains of North Wales’s criminals.

Denbigh in Bloom’s magnificent and colourful flower baskets, beds and planters have earned them international recognition – and cut vandalism in the historic town.

The town, which will represent Wales in the Britain in Bloom competition later this year and in 2023 hosts the Wales in Bloom awards, has received a grant of £2,500 from the North Wales Police Commissioner’s Your Community, Your Choice fund.

The initiative, also supported by the North Wales Police and Community Trust (PACT) and North Wales Police, is in its ninth year.

More than £400,000 has been handed out to deserving causes in that time and much of it has been recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act, using cash seized from offenders with the rest coming from the Commissioner.

The cash will be used to replace the old flower baskets mounted on the railings on Denbigh’s historic high street, part of the extensive displays around the town, and Denbigh In Bloom’s Lindsey Tasker said: “We began this in 2016 and it has just grown from there and it’s not just businesses but the whole community that has benefited.

“The town looks better and if it is looked after then people respect it more and we don’t get the same levels of anti-social behaviour and vandalism we used to see.

“Before we started Denbigh had one of the worst crime rates in North Wales but now it’s one of the best

“Our town looks much better cared for and as a result of that residents love where they live and each year come together to ensure their space helps Denbigh look it’s best for Wales in Bloom.

“It means more people want to come here and businesses are opening here. It’s a huge thing for the town’s economy and it’s all done by volunteers.

“The original railing baskets proved to be unsuitable but they were the only ones available back then but they can still be used and so we are donating 21 of them to local groups, schools and nursing homes as they still work well at ground level or in a raised bed.”

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin said: “I am delighted that my Your Community, Your Choice fund continues to support community projects across North Wales.

“There is an element of poetic justice in using money obtained through crime to address the problem of crime in our communities.

“It’s turning bad money into good and it’s making a real difference because it is local people who recognise and understand their local issues and how to solve them.

“This is a really positive aspect of the scheme and it helps bring us closer to those communities.”

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Allsop said: “I get particular satisfaction that part of the funding comes from the proceeds of crime, so that money is taken out of the pockets of criminals and their ill-gotten gains by the courts and is put back into community initiatives.

“It’s turning bad money into good and it’s making a real difference because it is local people who recognise and understand their local issues and how to solve them.

“Policing is part of the community and the community is part of policing and this scheme is a positive way of building trust in policing.

“It’s great to see those relationships flourish because without the community we won’t know what’s going on, without the community we won’t get vital intelligence, and we won’t solve crimes.”

PACT chair Ashley Rogers said: “These awards are important because they support community projects right across North Wales and it’s the communities themselves that decide where the money can best be spent.

“A lot of what we fund is aimed at providing something for young people to get involved with in their spare time, activities that can help to build skills and positive physical and mental health.

“We want to support communities so they are able to take responsibility for their own areas.

“Community groups and projects can do a great deal to make communities safer, reduce crime and reduce re-offending, it also sends a good message to the communities because it shows we are listening to them.

“The aim is to build up resilience in communities across North Wales to help vulnerable people and combat things like County Lines.”

For more information on the work of the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner go to https://www.northwales-pcc.gov.uk/en/home.aspx and for more on the North Wales Police and Community Trust go to https://www.pactnorthwales.co.uk/