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Leaving a life of crime behind can be easy as 1 . . 2 . . 3

February 17, 2014
DON'T GAMBLE: Putting aside the life of crime

DON’T GAMBLE: Putting aside the life of crime

STAFFORDSHIRE’S police overlords are helping to put paid to the county’s life of crime – with the adoption of a two-pronged approach to tackling offenders and their actions.

As the deputy police and crime commissioner I can assure you this double whammy is designed to get people to leave their criminal past behind while giving back ALL the proceeds of crime seizures to affected local communities.

Already the county’s Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has scored a hat-trick of successes – with a £13,000 plus fillip from its Proceeds of Crime Fund.

HIT 1: Thanks to a £5,000 grant from the OPCC’s fund – the innovative ‘Lives Released’ scheme to fund chaplaincy work aimed at supporters ex-offenders has been rolled out in Tamworth.

The initiative, which launched in Lichfield last July, sees two community chaplains give practical advice on budgeting, life and work skills, family issues and training in an effort to reduce re-offending.

HIT 2: Kinver Sports and Community Association has been given more than £4,000 from the fund to help tackle anti-social behaviour in the centre’s car park.

The grant will fund the installation of a barrier and bollards at the entrance to the car park, plus upgrading the building’s external lights to brighter LED bulbs.

HIT 3: A new boxing project in Stoke-on-Trent is aiming to deal a knockout blow to the city’s serial criminals and their re-offending habits.

Stoke-on-Trent’s Integrated Offender Management (IOM) unit has received £4,000 to fund weekly sessions for its users.

The IOM unit is a multi-agency partnership where police, probation, healthcare workers and other agencies work together to steer offenders away from a life of crime.

A probation officer and two IOM police officers are always present at the sessions based at Impact Gym in Fenton.

The project, dubbed ‘Fight for Change Stoke’ will run sessions twice a week with former professional boxer Scott Lawton employed to coach.

The Proceeds of Crime Fund – formerly known as the Local Policing fund – supports projects in conjunction with local policing teams and local authorities. It is made up of assets and money seized by police from criminals in Staffordshire under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

For the first time, 100 per cent of funding that comes back to Staffordshire Police from proceeds of crime seizures is going directly to local communities.

  • For more details on Lives Released call 07582 360889 or 07729 883822 or email livesreleased@gmail.com; for more information on KSCA contact chairman Rachel Davis on 01384 877 441; for Fight for Change Stoke, contact PC Steven Wilson on 01785 233 241 or 07891 940220.
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