A police boss is appealing to people across North Wales to vote for crime-fighting projects in their communities – using money confiscated from villains.
According to North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones, there’s a total of £40,000 up for grabs- with £2,500 apiece for two groups in each county and £5,000 each for two groups that operate across the region.
The Community Fund was set up jointly by Mr Jones, North Wales Police and the North Wales Police and Community Trust (PACT).
The Your Community, Your Choice initiative is being partly funded by the money recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act, using cash confiscated from offenders with the rest coming from the Police Commissioner.
People can vote for their chosen project via the North Wales Police or the commissioner’s websites and the online poll will close on Friday, December 2.
Mr Jones said: “Seizing the ill-gotten gains of villains sends an excellent message that crime doesn’t pay and that they money is being put back into communities to repair the damage that’s been caused by criminal activity.
“Essentially, we are turning a negative into a positive by improving the quality of life in our communities.
“The money is going where it’s going to make a difference in reducing crime and in improving the quality of the communities which suffer the crime.”
It was a sentiment echoed by Assistant Chief Constable Richard Debicki.
He said: “It is a very good thing for community groups to be able to access pots of money in order to be able to reduce crime and disorder within their communities and improve the quality of life for the community in their area.
“It sends a really positive message that money taken from the pockets of criminals is being recycled. This is turning bad money into good money that’s being used for a constructive purpose.
“We really value our relationships with the public and we recognise that we can’t reduce crime and disorder on our own. It’s a partnership and a joint effort with other agencies but absolutely crucial and critically is the public themselves.
“The public often are the ones who know what the things are that will work best in their area and for them to be able to bid into a pot of money is a really positive thing.”
According to PACT chairman David Williams, it was also a very democratic process because the public will be able to decide who gets the money.
Mr Williams said: “One of the real pluses of the scheme is that ultimately it’s the public who has the voice and who will say which projects will go forward and are worthy of this important money.
“And very appropriately, one of the conditions is that the people who apply for this money have to be doing something that combats anti-social behaviour or addresses crime and disorder in some way.
“The aims Your Community, Your Choice scheme also coincide with the objectives of the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan so it creates a virtuous circle.”
Your Community, Your Choice finalists
Cae Cybi Field Association
The Cae Cybi Field Associations needs to replace equipment which was damaged by vandalism and also purchase a new lawn mower to maintain the playing field area.
They are keen to engage with local young people and involve them in the maintenance and management of the area and involve them in the care of the playing field environment.
Ynys Mon Gymnastics Club
Ynys Mon Gymnastics Club was established 40 years ago and now has 450 members, with classes in five different disciplines, six days a week. They also run classes for local primary and secondary schools along with weekly sessions at Canolfan Addysyg Y Bont.
Classes steer youths away from negative social activities, thus reducing crime. Regular attendance and commitment provides youths with a sense of achievement and empowerment and is an excellent antidote to boredom!
Plas Road Allotment Association
The Plas Road Allotment Association re requesting funding to pay for solar powered security lights to help reduce criminal damage which is being caused to our allotment holders’ properties.
There are 75 allotment plots on the main Plas Road site in Holyhead. The site is owned by Holyhead Town Council and individual allotment holders pay annual rental fees for their plots to the council.
Llangoed Under 14s
Llangoed Football Club is in the process of improving the facilities at the club with the long term plan to increase youth participation in football.
In the youth team, there is a heavy emphasis on good behaviour and respect and the club currently have a successful junior team and hope to add another team by next season, since the senior team are looking to win promotion this season. However, in order to secure promotion, the team requires the upgrade of some of their facilities including a dugout for the home and away teams.
Trinity Avenue Playing Fields is situated in the heart of a Communities First Area and for many years has been a valuable playing field for local youths and had a football pitch until 2011.
The aim of the partnership between Llandudno Cricket Club, Llandudno Albion FC and Llandudno FC Junior Section is to restore the pitch to Welsh Alliance League standard pitch and also develop it as a hub for Local Llandudno Junior Football Teams. If successful funding would be used to purchase new goal posts and dugout.
Libanus Baptist Church
The Libanus Baptist Church, in Llanfairfechan, is seeking funding for their Connect project which provides youth activities for secondary school children, which involves playing high-energy games, such as dodgeball, with sound and lighting effects.
Current sound and lighting equipment is either borrowed or rather inadequate for the size of the venue. It is also a desire for the church to purchase a large-screen TV which could promote this and other community focused activities to people passing by the town hall where the event is held.
The Hope Restored project in Llandudno offers a range of services to homeless and needy people with our community and the local district. A drop-in session is run twice weekly, offering freshly cooked hot meals and desserts, along with snacks together with hot and cold drinks.
They also offer a sympathetic ear, with help and advice filling in forms for personal and housing benefits as well as providing good quality second hand clothes and toiletries. Tents and sleeping bags are also available to anyone who may be sleeping rough in the area.
Corwen Youth Football Club
Corwen Youth Football Club are proposing much better facilities for their ever-increasing membership. At present, they have two portakabins as changing rooms, storage and an area to make tea and coffee, but are not fit for purpose.
The aim is to refurbish the portakabins and turn one into proper changing facilities and the aim is to split the interior of the second to provide storage and a small kitchen area to enable them to serve refreshments to parents, families and visitors, which would be a small source of revenue.
Prestatyn High School
Prestatyn High School are hoping to gain funding so they can set up an after school youth project called the Young Rangers that will help young people gain valuable skills, give something back into the community and keep them positively active to help tackle the risk of Anti-social behaviour, becoming Excluded or NEET and Offending.
The project will be able to teach the young people new skills as well as develop confidence and self-esteem and will have accreditation that will enable the young people that attend the project attain real life transferable skills with an accreditation that will last beyond the project.
Flintshire (Online Watch Link) Association
Flintshire (Online Watch Link) Association would like to use funding to support communities identified as being in need of support to address crime and anti-social behaviour.
They will deliver neighbourhood crime prevention pop up events, CCTV equipment, development and community engagement in watch schemes, and provide street signage that will bring additional support and resources to help the policing teams tackle these crimes, through a smart and organised delivery.
Language for Living is an innovative project that utilises the Flintshire Foodbank network of seven centres across the county, to contact and support these where their first language is not English.
The project aims to offer English conversational lessons to all who ask for them, free at the point of access. In the locality of Flintshire, especially around the Deeside, Shotton, Connah’s Quay and Flint areas, there are known to be many EU immigrants who struggle to communicate their everyday needs.
It is believed that offering English lessons will aid social inclusion, reduce anti-social behaviour, tackle hate and racially motivated crime, whilst creating a cohesive and stable community.
Quay Watermen’s Association
Quay Watermen’s Association is a social enterprise made up of local fishermen, boat enthusiasts and residents who aim to preserve the area’s maritime heritage for the benefit of the local community and for future generations.
They want to run a series of water and centre based activities for disaffected teenagers and vulnerable young adults, aimed at getting them interested in their community and building confidence. They would recruit participants through the Youth Justice Team and through the Job Centre, targeting young people who are not in employment, education or training.
Flintshire Against Business Crime
The Flintshire Against Business Crime project will impact squarely on crime and anti-social behaviour by enabling shops to directly talk to the Council CCTV and Police. CCTV will be alerted quicker and record evidential events and the police will be able to deter crime by early interventions.
This unique partnership between the Business Community and the Police will have the benefits of business crime being reduced through greater awareness and early interventions and a direct link between police and businesses.
Bangor Gymnastics Club
Bangor Gymnastics Club are initiating a new project in Bangor, setting up Freestyle/Parkour gymnastics sessions targeted at teenage boys.
To enable us to achieve this they are requesting funding for the purchase of specialist gymnastic Freestyle/Parkour equipment.
Parkour is concerned with expression and performing gymnastics in a more relaxed way compared to traditional gymnastics which is extremely precise, disciplined, and requires hours of training. They believe that this style of gymnastics is an excellent fit for local teenagers helping them to engage in physical activity/sporting interest.
Partneriaeth Maesgeirchen Partnership
The Maesgeirchen Environmental and Raised Beds Project for which Partneriaeth Maesgeirchen Partnership re seeking funds aims to provide a means of gaining accreditation to unemployed young people on the estate as well as creating an attractive space on the estate’s main entrance.
They will do this by taking a training course and then taking part in the creation of raised beds in the verge area at the main estate entrance. This will be done under the guidance and supervision of Wild Elements, a local social enterprise dedicated to encouraging more people to engage with the natural environment.
Clwyd and Gwynedd Army Cadet Force
The Blaenau Ffestiniog Platoon of the Clwyd and Gwynedd Army Cadet Force are hoping to get funding to help some of their cadets from low income families. They are unable to purchase some of the equipment they are asked to supply. and struggle to go on Training Weekends and Annual Camp.
They are also planning on using funding to improve classroom displays as well as purchasing stationery and kit such as maps, map cases, compasses and bags.
The Community Health Walks project organised by Menter Fachwen is aimed at developing a series of health walks in the Dwyfor and Arfon areas of Gwynedd with the aim of improving the physical and mental health of people through the use of the outdoors as a way of encouraging physical activity and health benefits. It will also allow for people to get to know their environment and encourage social interaction.
Funding will allow the project to have professionally trained walk leaders who will risk asses all the walks to make sure that they are suitable for walkers of all abilities. The grant would also allow the project to research the walks beforehand for areas of interest and create an opportunity for beneficiaries to become part of the process.
RNLI – THE CRAIG STEADMAN LIFEBOAT FUND
Holyhead Lifeboat has 30 volunteers, made up of local people of all ages. In August 2015 they suffered the tragic loss of one of their crew members, Craig Steadman, in a motorcycle collision. Craig had been a lifeboat volunteer since a teenager; he was a courageous young man. He was involved in numerous rescues off the North Wales coast, and personally saved lives at sea.
Their current D-Class Inshore Lifeboat is nearing the end of its operation life and it is intended that “The Craig Steadman” will replace it. Barmouth is a busy station, again crewed by volunteers of all ages.
North Wales Police, Wrexham County Borough Council, CAIS and other partner agencies have tried, many times over many years to find a solution to the problem of anti-social behaviour, disturbance, exposure to substance and alcohol misuse, and the absence of a feeling of security that negatively affects the quality of life for residents of the Grosvenor Ward and members of the public that recreationally use Rhosddu park.
Recently members of Champions House’s ‘Recovery in Action Group’, Keep Wales Tidy, North Wales Police, Wrexham County Borough Council and the wider community, led a clean-up of the area and refurbishment of Rhosddu park and the surrounding Grosvenor area which was coordinated by CAIS. This activity significantly improved the accessibility and aesthetics of the areas, and has had the additional effects of empowering the community by demonstrating what a difference they can help to make and how quickly. Beyond this, the cooperation between various agencies, including North Wales Police, members of the public, as well as individuals on recovery journeys helped to destigmatize the process and promote an overall sense of pride in the area and its people.
They are applying for £2500 to enable us to deliver a more comprehensive and targeted training program to the individuals that have already shown a commitment to help Wrexham and themselves. This will include horticultural training, and stakeholder engagement, the use of strimmers and other machinery, health and safety and site qualifications, and will initially be coordinated by CAIS from Champions House.
BR in the Community
The Doorstep Sports Project is designed to engage with disadvantaged young people aged between 11 and 18 and divert them from antisocial behaviour.
The plan is to operate the service in hard to reach communities by offering quality Futsal and Netball training from qualified coaches on community sites such as Brymbo, Tanyfron and Brynteg MUGAs with a view to expanding this service into other areas of social deprivation within the Wrexham County.
Caia Park Partnership
The Caia Park Partnership’s Diversionary Activity Group would like funding to run a 20 week diversionary activity programme predominantly aimed at the 11-18 age group of Caia Park, who are amongst the main group of young people who are regularly engaged in crime and anti-social behaviour.
The programme would run on a fortnightly basis, being delivered on Saturdays for 6 hours per session, utilising educational opportunities.
Additionally, the young people who engage positively will be rewarded with days out and leisure activities.
Rossett Community Council
The proposal is to provide four CCTV cameras in three locations along the stretch of road and pathway leading off Burton Road, Rossett, by the River Alyn weir, and known locally as the ‘hammerhead’
The project is based on a live feed being delivered to the main CCTV control room in Wrexham. Because of its location, the hammerhead has become a drug taking and drug dealing, boy-racers, underage drinking and general anti-social behaviour involving foul and or abusive language clearly audible to local residents
Racecourse Community Foundation
A key aspect of the Racecourse Community Foundation’s strategy is the use of football as a vehicle to bring about positive change with the local community. Currently the Night Strikers project runs a number of activities aimed at increasing physical activity, improving health and wellbeing, improving literacy/numeracy standards, educating participants on diet, smoking, drugs and alcohol.
The foundation would like to run a project that uses football to tackle anti-social behaviour, drinking, drug abuse, arson and crime in Acrefair and Plas Madoc, two areas that suffer from these problems.
The CyberPoint project at the Dangerpoint centre in Talacre, Flintshire, will provide subsidised interactive tours for 370 pupils from targeted schools across North Wales to visit. The delivery of the tour will emphasise the issues of cyber safety, personal safety, community safety, consequences of action; tackling subjects of both antisocial behaviour and crime.
The Aloud Charity
The Aloud Charity would like towards the cost of delivering one term of activity of the four Only Boys Aloud (OBA) choirs across North Wales, beginning in January 2017.
The OBA project in its entirety engages with around 200 13-19 year-old teenage boys every week through the delivery of 14 choirs across Wales.
The choirs operate in locations which cover nine out of the 10 most deprived areas in Wales according to the Welsh Index of Multiple deprivation.
Race Council Cymru (RCC)
The funding requested is for a project of work that will complement and supplement the schools liaison work that is taking place across schools in North Wales.
The level of schools liaison work has reduced over the past few years, along with the reduction in numbers of police staff and associated resources. Specific diversity inputs have significantly reduced at a time when their importance has increased. This collaborative project, which will significantly support the work of schools liaison in the existing planned programme for schools under the auspices of Police Safeguarding the Children of Wales through Crime Prevention Education, in which there are specific inputs on Diversity, Hate Crime, and Bullying.
This project will enable us to reach wider audience and funding will support a member of RCC to deliver an additional 7 racial cohesion sessions in the academic year 2016-17 alongside sessions delivered by the School Community Police Officers in North Wales in partnership with CLPW.
Bawso is collecting data and formulating research which will over time inform policy makers and service providers in the improved delivery of support to Modern Day Slavery victims.
We will work with the six County Voluntary Councils in North Wales to provide awareness raising training that will inform local voluntary and community groups in each of the local authority areas. This will include awareness raising workshops, literature, website information and advice on what further training may be needed. The funding will also be used to identify and train ‘community champions’ across the voluntary and community section in North Wales. These are individuals that are committed to raising awareness of Modern Slavery in the region.
The specific aim of this is to increase levels of understanding of Modern Slavery across North Wales and to increase the level of victim identification.
Raising awareness amongst potential victim populations such as migrant communities and homeless people is essential to gain their trust and support the work of the Police.
North Wales Deaf association
The project is to run five crime prevention workshops in three locations across North Wales. These workshops will be designed to be easily accessible to people with hearing loss. They will be designed to cover crime prevention topics which have been identified from feedback we have received whilst working in the community.
The topics include; safety in the home, internet safety, anti-social behaviour, scams and cold callers, domestic violence and hate crimes.
Deaf people currently have problems accessing information on crime prevention as their first language is British sign language, not English or Welsh. This makes them more liable to be the victims of crime than people with perfect hearing. They are often unsure or unaware how they can report a crime.
Deaf people are also more likely to be a victim of hate crimes due to their disability. The project will address issues which have been identified by the deaf community, by providing information and advice on crime prevention that they cannot normally access. These workshops will have full communication support.
The Young Dragons project is applying for funding to be used for volunteer expenses, promotional materials and supporting young people in North Wales. The biggest hurdle for volunteers is having to pay out of their own pockets for traveling to meetings and events to provide activities for young people.
Travel costs did recently prevent a keen group of young firefighters from attending an event. Sometimes, due to the lack of finances at home, some young people are unable to bring a packed lunch with them, resulting in one being purchased at the expense of the volunteer.
If prospective volunteers are aware of the availability of being able to claim expenses, then they will be more willing to become full time.
Young Dragons is a partnership of all uniformed youth organisations, such as Army or Army Cadets. Their shared vision is to promote citizenship to all the young people of Wales through fun and adventure.
Caption: Your Community, Your Choice launch. Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones with deputy PCC Ann Griffith with Assistant Chief Constable Richard Debicki and David Williams Chair of PACT Trustees