Charities and organisations that are working to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour this Halloween and Bonfire Night have received a £35,000 cash boost from Merseyside’s Police Commissioner.

October 2014

Jane Kennedy has today announced that 25 community groups will share the funding, which is designed to divert young people away from dangerous activities and keep communities safe during one of the busiest times of the year for the police.

It is the third round of funding allocated from the Commissioner’s Police Property Act (PPA) Fund, which awards money raised by the sale of unclaimed stolen goods or property recovered by the police to worthwhile causes.

The awards are designed to give a vital cash boost to organisations that are making a difference in their communities by reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, supporting victims of crime or making neighbourhoods safer places to live.

This is the first time the funding has been used to concentrate on a specific occasion and the Commissioner hopes the additional funding will help to tackle the traditional increase in anti-social behaviour and low-level crime during the Halloween and Bonfire Night week.

Jane said: “Halloween and Bonfire Night should be a time of excitement and celebration. Unfortunately, a small minority of people can ruin the fun for everyone else.

“As a result, this can be a really busy time of year for the Force. Last year, Merseyside Police saw a 44% increase in 999 emergency calls on October 30.

“By supporting these initiatives I can help them reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, relieving the strain on the police during this critical period and thereby keep our communities safe.”

A total of 73 applications were received, with 42 meeting the Halloween and Bonfire Night criteria. Of those, 11 organisations from Liverpool were successful in their bid for funding, with seven groups benefitting in Knowsley, four on the Wirral and three in Sefton.

Among the successful organisations is the Unity Community Association in Liverpool, which received more than £1,300 to divert 200 young people away from anti-social behaviour by involving them in the planning of two community firework bonfire BBQ evenings. The events aim to bring the community together and take young people off the streets.

Other initiatives being funded are a ‘haunted house’, run by Beechwood Play and Community Centre on the Wirral and built by local people, which provides a safe environment for children and adults to enjoy the celebrations and a scheme run by Netherton Feelgood Factory which aims to break down the barriers in the community by encouraging young people to ‘host’ older people on Halloween outings.

A further round of awards will be considered in early December for those organisations that did not meet the Halloween and Bonfire Night criteria.

The PPA fund is administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, (CFM) on behalf of the Commissioner. CFM holds funds from philanthropic individuals and organisations who wish to support deserving causes in Merseyside and Lancashire. CFM’s philanthropy manager James Proctor said: “We are proud to be working with Merseyside’s Police Commissioner and administering the Police Property Act fund. For further information on the Community Foundation please visit our website.”

Read about some of the great work being done by the successful applicants and find out about previous grants which have been awarded here.

Organisations that reduce crime and improve safety on Merseyside have been awarded nearly £40,000, thanks to Merseyside’s Police Commissioner.

January 2014

Jane Kennedy has announced that 14 charities and community groups in the region will benefit from grants from her Police Property Act Fund.

The grants, totalling £39,763, are the second round of funding released by the Commissioner. She handed out nearly £37,000 worth of grants last November to 24 organisations that share her goals to make the region safer by tackling her police and crime priorities.

All the money goes towards projects that are making a real difference in their communities, with many of the successful organisations in this round carrying out innovative work with young people aimed at keeping them away from anti-social or criminal behaviour.

It includes nearly £5,000 for a project which works with young people to increase their awareness of crime. CELLS Project CIC in Knowsley has a proven track record of changing attitudes through their workshop sessions focussing on gun and knife and crime gang, domestic violence and the impact of crime on victims.

A similar grant was awarded to Changing Lives, who run a project designed to raise awareness among girls, aged 11 to 16, of abusive relationships and how media and technology can be used for emotional and sexual exploitation.

Further grants went to the Al Ghazali Multi-Cultural Centre on Earle Road for their initiatives aimed at diverting young people away from getting involved with gangs or becoming radicalised, Edge Hill Youth to enable them to continue to run their services for disadvantaged young people on a Sunday and to Shrewsbury House Youth and Community Centre to help them continue their work increasing openness and cohesion between young people and the police.

Jane Kennedy said: "I am delighted to award a second round of funding to help organisations across Merseyside that are making a real difference in their communities.

“With many organisations struggling financially in these times of austerity, these grants are designed to give a vital cash boost to grassroots projects and initiatives that are working directly to improve neighbourhoods.

“Many of the projects that have been selected for funding in this round have shown a huge commitment to young people across Merseyside and are working incredibly hard both to protect them and to prevent them from getting involved with anti-social or criminal behaviour.

“At a time when many of our community safety partners are suffering devastating cuts which are forcing them to reduce the diversionary services they offer, these grants have never been more important.”

The money from the Police Property Act is raised by the sale of stolen goods or property recovered by the police that cannot be returned to its owners. It all goes directly into projects that are working to making Merseyside a better and safer place to live – whether by reducing anti-social behaviour, tackling re-offending or helping young people or older residents feel safer.

It is expected that there will be two further rounds of funding released this year.

The fund is administered for the Commissioner by the Community Foundation for Merseyside (CFM), which gives individuals and organisations the opportunity to give to deserving causes in Merseyside and Lancashire.

The Community Foundation for Merseyside’s philanthropy manager James Proctor said: “We are proud to be working with Merseyside’s Police Commissioner and administering the Police Property Act fund. For further information on the Community Foundation please visit our website

Successful applicants:

The CELLS Project

The CELLS Project received nearly £5,000 to run a series of crime awareness and prevention workshops with young people at Hugh Baird College. These sessions focused on issues relating to drugs and alcohol abuse, gun and gang crime and domestic violence. These workshops also helped to divert some young people on postive action initiaves, leading young people into training and employment.

Changing Lives

Nearly £5,000 went to Changing Lives in Knowsley. The charity supports people who are socially excluded and have multiple and complex needs, providing a range of specialist support services.

They used the funding to continue their work with young girls in schools relating to healthy relationships and staying safe by offering workshop to highlight how media technology can be used to emotionally and sexually exploit them. The workshops, aimed at girls aged 11 to 16, are also designed to raise awareness about the potentially abusive relationships and the impact of the media on body image.

The Al Ghazali Centre

The Earle Road-based Al Ghazali Centre received a grant from the Commissioner of £2,800 to continue to run a Home Office backed Prevent Youth Project designed to equip young people with the tools to prevent their radicalisation or their involvement in gangs.

The money was requested to run a series of trips within Merseyside aimed at encouraging inter-community dialogy and activities. This is aimed at improving community cohesion and increasing activities and debates that help young people from different communities improve their understanding of each other.

The other successful projects were:

Just short of £1,000 went to the Audrey Walk Residents Association in order to provide enhanced security measures for properties in the Audrey Walk area, including shed and window alarms and security devices.

More than £1,000 was given to Bedford’s Enrichment & Support Trust (B.E.S.T) to run a six-week pilot of 'Play Safe in Your Space', a new community-focused project aimed at sharing outdoor resources with all primary-aged children in the Sefton area.

Birkenhead Venture ABC was granted £2,000 to purchase new fitness equipment for their gym to engage children, young people and adults to participate in sport and encourage a healthy lifestyle and improve emotional well-being.

A grant of £5,000 went to Christ Church Youth & Community Centre to cover the costs for their youth provision targeted at reducing anti-social behaviour. This includes a targeted youth work programme looked at issues including relationships, gun and knife crime, anti-bullying, healthy living and responsibilities.

Dovefields Residents Association received £1,000 to purchase a wide range of security items for vulnerable residents in Orrell Park including single parents, widows and widowers and disabled people, including motion detectors, night lights and panic alarms.

Edge Hill Youth Club received £3,044 to run a Sunday service in the dark, winter months aimed at engaging young people in positive acitvities and away from getting involved in anti-social behaviour. This includes healthy cookery and sports classes for children aged seven to 17.

Nearly £3,000 went to Garston Adventure Playground to install floodights on their outside play area in order to get more young people involved in positive activites in a safe environment and divert them away from anti-social behaviour.

The Inclusion Network CiC received a grant of £4,920 to deliver a gang desistance programme based on a mixture of visual, interactive and workshop activities for young people. This involved two five-week programmes in Sefton in known crime 'hotspots'.

More than £3,500 was given to Shrewsbury House, a youth and community centre in Everton for their work aimed at improving community cohesion by fostering a sense of social responsibility for those who live in the area and those who police it.

A grant of more than £2,000 went to the Wallasey Sea Cadet Unit to help purchase new equipment to provide evening and weekend activities to divert young people from anti-social behaviour, offering them fun activities and the opportunity to achieve qualifications.

22nd Bootle Scout Group (Christ Church) received £500 to provide better facilities for their scout hut and storage room to benefit their 60 members, aged from five to 18.

Find out how to apply for a grant from the Commissioner's Police Property Act Fund.