Community foundations in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Milton Keynes are working together to turn the proceeds of crime into grants that reduce reoffending, prevent social problems and build community resilience.
OCF has been leading on the joint initiative between its fellow community foundations and senior representatives from Thames Valley Police. The Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld and Chief Constable Francis Habgood are working in partnership with us to channel funds from the Police Property Act Fund into the different counties within the region. The fund is created from money recovered by the police and the proceeds from the sale of items that cannot be returned to identified owners, which includes seizures from criminals. The four community foundations will distribute a total of £105,000 by March 2018, to be split equally at £35,000 per county.
The funds will support local charitable and voluntary organisations whose work aligns with the strategic objectives of the 2017–2021 Police and Crime Plan for the Thames Valley, in particular:
- Vulnerability (mental health, adults at risk, improving criminal justice)
- Prevention and early Intervention (improving safeguarding in physical and virtual space)
- Reducing reoffending (targeting and managing harm and risk, eg substance abuse, rehabilitation of perpetrators of crime).
Each community foundation will assess suitable projects via their standard grant administration and general application panel process – groups will not be able to apply directly to the fund. In Oxfordshire, some of the funds are contributing to our High Sheriff’s Community Integration Awards grants, which close on Friday 8th September.
Funds from the Police and Crime Commissioner are being managed as part of the standard named fund mechanism. A named fund is a ring-fenced charitable fund held by a community foundation on behalf of a donor or funder. Named funds avoid the cost and administration of setting up a new charitable trust.