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£700,000 of criminal assets to be given to community and voluntary groups

Applications sought from those in crime prevention of reducing fear of crime in community

Public sector bodies and voluntary and community sector organisations are being asked to bid for a share of a £700,000 fund from recovered criminal assets.

The scheme, through the Department of Justice, is aimed at helping in crime prevention or helping reduce the fear of crime in the community.

The 2018/2019 Assets Recovery Community Scheme (ARCS), which opened today (Monday), August 6, will result in the total amount of criminal assets distributed to the community reaching a total of £5 million since the scheme began in 2012.

Department of Justice Permanent Secretary Nick Perry CB said:  “The department strives to help create a community where everyone respects the law and each other.

“I encourage eligible groups to consider how, working together, we can make best use of this year’s funding.

“The support available in the Assets Recovery Community Scheme is the result of successful prosecution and convictions of criminals.  Those who disregard the law, cheat and rob victims have no place in our society.”

Law enforcement agencies are continually improving their efforts to identify and confiscate profits and assets gained through illegal activity such as drug dealing, benefit and tax fraud, and money laundering; these are criminal profits that might contribute to further harm in communities if no action was taken.

The scheme allows monies received from the payment of confiscation orders to be invested into projects tackling crime in communities across Northern Ireland.

Organisations applying for funding must clearly demonstrate how they will directly benefit victims, communities or the environment.

Applications are invited from innovative and transformational justice initiatives.  Funding will be available for short-term projects and also for longer, strategic interventions up to a maximum of three years.

Applications are particularly invited for projects from voluntary and community organisations.

Further information is available on the application form and accompanying documentation, please visit the Department’s website https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/articles/assets-recovery-community-scheme

The closing date for applications is September 3.

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