Criminals’ cash to fund fight against drug gangs
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.police.uk/news-and-appeals/ ycyc2018-launch