Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson and West Midlands Police are overhauling the way ‘Proceeds of Crime Act’ (POCA) funding is distributed to ensure that it is supporting citizens to become more active in their communities through a new Active Citizens Fund.

The PCC will work with local police commanders to ensure that funding is actively supporting citizens to make their communities safer.

The scheme will involve nearly a million pounds being spent on schemes in the West Midlands, using money seized from criminals.

Over the coming months local police commanders will be engaging with their communities to involve them in the decision making process. Commanders will hold a series of events to involve people in deciding which projects should be funded in their neighbourhoods.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said, “The Proceeds of Crime Act ensures 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.”

Assistant Chief Constable Michele Larmour, West Midlands Police lead for local policing said: “This is all about supporting our communities and giving them the tools to make a difference in their neighbourhoods.  We want to encourage as many community members as possible to get involved with this initiative and have a say about how the money is spent in their area. Our local  policing units will each be holding events where the public can learn more about the fund and how they can benefit from the money available.”

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 PPA was comprised of funds obtained via the sale of goods recovered by the police that cannot be returned to their original owner. CIF was used to improve community safety and increase reassurance through small-scale financial assistance to community based initiatives in the West Midlands.

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