Over £187,000 has been handed to charities and community groups from the Police Property Act Fund.
62 organisations were selected by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and the chief constable of Thames Valley Police, who between them lead and oversee local policing. All the organisations’ work either contributes towards reducing crime or supports the PCC’s Police and Crime Plan objectives.
The fund, which is jointly managed by the PCC and the chief constable, 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.
Some of the successful applicants include support services for victims of crime, youth groups, rehabilitation services and organisations which assist vulnerable people.
The largest award of £22,665 went to Search Dogs Buckinghamshire, who applied on behalf of all five lowland rescue search teams within the Thames Valley.
Their funding will be used to create a Thames Valley-wide communication system to effectively coordinate and organise their searches for high-risk missing and vulnerable people.
Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to make such good use of this funding by supporting a large number of charities and voluntary organisations.
“There are many organisations in the Thames Valley whose work helps to make a positive impact on the quality of life in the area and this fund is a way of recognising their valuable contribution.”
Through wide publicity of the fund a large number of requests were received. While money was not awarded to everyone who asked, Stansfeld explained that a detailed evaluation of the many bids meant “the best possible use of this money in reducing crime and supporting vulnerable people within the Thames Valley.”
Sara Thornton, chief constable for Thames Valley Police, added: “It is good to see so many different organisations allocated money from the Police Property Act Fund. I know that they rely on funding such as this to be able to support communities across the Thames Valley.
“Relatively small amounts of money can make a huge difference to people’s lives and I look forward to seeing the contribution that the 62 organisations make across the Thames Valley.”