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The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has got a community bus back on the road so it can continue helping vulnerable people in Erdington.

After the vehicle broke down there weren’t the funds to get it repaired so the PCC spent £2000 from his Active Citizens fund to help fix it.

The bus takes people to the local food bank and transports the homeless to soup kitchens.

It is all part of the Commissioner’s wider push to ensure vulnerable people are kept safe and to prevent crime being committed.

The Bethany Community Outreach Group, which operates the bus in Erdington, received the money from the PCC’s Active Citizens Fund: a pot of cash which has been seized from criminals and spent on projects designed to reduce crime.

The group has been operating for several years but has noticed a sharp increase in the number of people coming to them for help. In 2016, Bethany Community Outreach supported over 5,000 people. In 2017 this had more than doubled to over 11,500.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said: “The work being done by the Bethany Community Outreach Group is relied upon by people at their lowest ebb.

“I am proud to fund and support an organisation that cares so much for those who need it most.

“To bring crime down we must also look after the vulnerable. That is exactly what this organisation does and long may it continue.”

The Chairman of Bethany Community Outreach Group, Kevin Warrington, said: “Without the Active Citizens Fund we would not be able to keep our bus running, and would struggle to support the people we do.

“The foodbank is helping over 950 people per month, the bus is crucial for us to maintain food supplies.”

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