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Money seized from criminals will be used by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to support people hit hardest by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

In all £170,000 is being made available over the next 6 months, with the funds distributed to volunteers who are helping those most in need.

Whilst the lockdown that we experienced earlier in the year has mainly lifted, the effects and recovery from Covid are ongoing.

The cash has been seized from criminals under the proceeds of crime act and will target those organisations that offer support to people whose lives have been made harder by Covid-19.

The initiative is designed to help the vulnerable, homeless and the elderly; who have all become extremely isolated as many shield from the virus.

People across 19 areas, identified as being places of high deprivation, will be prioritised as grants of up to £5,000 per applicant are rolled out.

Whilst the Commissioner approves the funding, he relies on West Midlands Police to identify and work closely with applicants.

The new grant follows £200,000 that the PCC already made available in May of this year.

To apply for funding you can navigate to the police and crime commissioner’s own website and fill out the form on this page.

The West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Waheed Saleem, said: “The first tranche of Covid funding has already made its way to the front line and has been put to good use. It has supported some of the most vulnerable in our community.  

“It is right that where ill-gotten gains can be recovered from criminals that the money should be directed to those that need it most.

“This new initiative will offer help to people who are struggling. We know that if you can reduce suffering you can also reduce crime”.  

T/Chief Superintendent Jason Anderson, who leads for policing in Dudley, said: “We have seen an abundance of community engagement and volunteers from across all walks of life offering their valuable time to support vulnerable communities and citizens during the current pandemic.

“The Community Initiative fund is a funding stream in response to the current COVID crisis, available for voluntary and community groups to provide new and sustainable solutions to supporting the vulnerable and those at risk of harm, both now and into the future.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to get involved and help in a practical way.”

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