‘People power’ will decide police cash boost for Walsall safety pioneers

Community-spirited people from Walsall and Willenhall are set to benefit from a share of a new fund earmarked to support safety initiatives to make communities more active.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson and West Midlands Police are overhauling the way 'Proceeds of Crime Act' (POCA) funding is distributed to ensure it is supporting citizens to become more active in their communities through a new Active Citizens Fund.  In addition to POCA funds, the scheme will also be supported using funds from the Police Property Act (PPA) and the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF).

The project is being managed by Walsall Local Policing Unit, Walsall Voluntary Action, Walsall Council and Walsall College.

Sgt Nick Morton from Walsall Police said: "This funding provides a great opportunity for people, who will no doubt have brilliant, pioneering ideas of how to tackle the issues that matter most to their community. We want to work in partnership to empower these people to develop and deliver these ideas to help to make our communities a safer place.

"This funding is available for individuals rather than groups or organisations - but they may of course be linked to an organisation as a volunteer or member.

"There is a real opportunity to inspire their local community, and then if successful, work in partnership to deliver it.  Community events will be organised in each area and those attending can listen to each problem solving Idea before discussing and making a decision."

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said "The Proceeds of Crime Act allows police forces to use money and goods seized from criminals to be used to make local communities safer.

"I am overhauling the current system to make sure that both local people's priorities and my police and crime plan are taken account of when this money is distributed.

"Each local commander, working with local officers will be the eyes and ears of this project, ensuring that projects that will make communities safer are funded.

"Local commanders will be seeking the views of people in their areas and will be holding a series of events over the coming weeks and months to make sure that the public have a say on what they think will make their local communities safer."

Funding and free support for new and innovative community safety ideas is being made accessible for anyone living or working across the borough.

While there is no limit on funding, applicants are asked to consider carefully how much their project will cost. Projects should be ready to be launched early in the new year.

  • To find out more about the Walsall Active Citizens scheme please contact Sgt Morton on email address n.morton@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk  or Lesley Shorthouse, at Walsall Voluntary Action on 01922 619840.