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The Safer Communities Fund of the Cheshire police force has been increased in 2018 to a total of £100,000. This represents almost double the amount of funding that was available in the previous year. The Fund is used to support various projects within the community that focus on the promotion of safety and the prevention of crime.

Founder of SAFE Fiyaz Mughal has worked to establish several projects and enterprises along the theme of bringing communities together and tackling violence and hate crimes.

Redirected Funding

The crime commissioner redirected an additional £40,000 to the Safer Communities Fund for the 2018/19 financial year, inviting organisations to apply for a series of funding rounds to support their projects. The Fund is divided into four rounds of £25,000 each, with applicants entitled to bid for any amount up to £5,000 per project. The first round of funding launched in May 2018, with further rounds in July and October and a final round in January 2019. Eligibility requirements involve evidence that the project or organisation is actively involved in preventing crime and keeping communities safe. Applicants are further required to demonstrate a collaboration with the local police in developing their project. Money for the Fund comes from the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Police and Crime Plan

Priority funding is granted to those organisations and projects that demonstrate they will assist with tackling issues deemed the most important as outlined in the Police and Crime Plan. Applicants are advised, therefore, to absorb the content of the Plan before submitting applications for grants. In the previous year, the Fund was used to support 15 individual projects across the Cheshire community, helping to reduce crime levels and promote safety messages. The increase in funding means that more projects will be able to access financial support in the current financial year.

PCSO Roll-Out

To further promote community safety, the Cheshire police force is also rolling out a more comprehensive PCSO scheme. Police Community Support Officers will be assigned a specific community and, as the named officer, will be able to work closely within that community to truly understand the needs of groups and individuals. By having a personal presence within each area of the community, it is hoped that residents will feel safer and have a point of call to discuss any potential issues that may arise.