Crim­i­nals’ cash to fund fight against drug gangs

Bangor Mail - - NEWS -

A £60,000 fund boosted by money con­fis­cated from crim­i­nals has been launched to help tackle the grow­ing men­ace of young­sters be­ing groomed and ex­ploited by vi­cious drugs gangs.

Ac­cord­ing to North Wales Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner Ar­fon Jones, the ill-got­ten gains of vil­lains will be re­cy­cled for the ben­e­fit of the com­mu­nity in a series of crime-fight­ing ini­tia­tives across the re­gion.

The Your Com­mu­nity, Your Choice Awards are again putting up the Com­mu­nity Fund for lo­cal groups and Mr Jones is urg­ing lo­cal groups to bid for the cash.

It’s be­ing or­gan­ised jointly by Mr Jones, North Wales Po­lice and the North Wales Po­lice and Com­mu­nity Trust (PACT).

“These drugs sup­ply net­works are of­ten run by crim­i­nals from out of the area via a mo­bile phone line who use as­so­ci­ates or even co­erce vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple to act as lo­cal deal­ers to deal drugs for them.

“Vi­o­lence and in­tim­i­da­tion is a com­mon theme in these ab­hor­rent net­works which have be­come known as County Lines.

“It is vi­tally im­por­tant that we warn young­sters of the very real dan­gers of be­ing en­snared by these vi­cious gangs.

The money for the awards comes partly from money seized by the courts through the Pro­ceeds of Crime Act with the rest from the Po­lice Com­mis­sioner’s Fund.

Each of the re­gion’s six coun­ties will have up to £2,500 apiece for two groups with £5,000 each for two or­gan­i­sa­tions that op­er­ate in three or more coun­ties.

In ad­di­tion this year, thanks to ad­di­tional fund­ing from the po­lice and crime com­mis­sioner and North Wales Po­lice, there will be two new grants of £10,000.

The larger grants are de­signed to fund projects ad­dress­ing is­sues re­lated to the emerg­ing threat of County Lines, where young peo­ple are be­ing co­erced and threat­ened with vi­o­lence to take part in il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity across the re­gion.

The dead­line for ap­pli­ca­tions is Jan­uary 18 and the suc­cess­ful groups will be cho­sen by pub­lic vote.

En­try forms are avail­able on the North Wales Po­lice web­site at www.north-wales.po­­peals/ ycyc2018-launch

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