Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, has launched a new £90,000 'Community Cashback Fund', which will see money that has been taken from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) spent on projects to improve local communities.
Each of Cheshire's nine Local Policing Units (LPUs) will be given £10,000 from the Community Cashback Fund over the course of the 2022/23 financial year, with residents able to vote on how the money is spent.
A 'Community Conversation' will be held by the police in each area to identify what provisions and offerings are currently available in the community, what may be missing, and what people hope to see in the future.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer, said:
"I am determined to show criminals that crime doesn't pay. That's why the Community Cashback Fund will ensure that the proceeds of their crimes are spent on improving the communities they have brought misery to, not funding their lifestyle.
Having a community conversation in each of our LPUs means we can get a good idea from the very start about what people's aspirations are for their area and how the Community Cashback Fund can help improve people's lives."
After each Community Conversation event, a steering group will be set up to coordinate any agreed actions and consider the issues raised. The group will also carry out further research into potential solutions which can be implemented with the funding.
Local people and groups will then be able to submit bids to the Community Cashback Fund for their area, after which a further 'Participatory Budget' event will be held where residents will be able to vote on which projects they feel deserve to go ahead.
John Dwyer added:
"The principle of this fund is that money is spent by the community, for the community, in the community. I want people to bring every idea they have to the table, so please do keep an eye out for when your local Community Conversation will be and play your part in improving your area."
For more information about the Community Cashback Fund, click here