Home Latest news Knowsley votes to donate £24,000 proceeds of crime to local initiatives
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Knowsley votes to donate £24,000 proceeds of crime to local initiatives

by Jonathan Kearney

Yesterday, (14 March) groups from across Knowsley came together for a share of £24,000 pledged by Merseyside Police for projects in the area.

At a Dragon’s Den-style event held in Halewood, the groups who had put in bids for their chance to get a share did their best to win over a local panel of judges.

The £24,000 comes from the proceeds of crime and is being invested back into the community.

Knowsley Local Policing Inspector, Mark Berry, who attended the event, said he was pleased to able to be a part of empowering local organisations: “The Knowsley community is incredibly special to me. I’ve been an Inspector here now for a number of years, and the willingness of local people to come together and get things done is unique. Halewood, Whiston and Cronton have a lot of really active local groups.

“All of the organisations that we were able to give money to today, I know, are going to use it to make their community even better – which is what this is all about. They’ve invested time and energy and care into Halewood, so to be able to add some financial investment at our end is great. I felt lucky to be here today and be a part of that.”

In total, 13 organisations received funding for their projects, with 10 all receiving £1650 each.

Three organisations, however, wowed the judges and received the lion’s share of the cash.

In third place, Halewood Town Junior Football Club was awarded £2000. The club will use the money to run fun, open sessions for any children who want to turn up and play football.

Knowsley Detach (a part of Merseyside Youth Association) was awarded second place and given £2500. They requested funds to continue their work in Halewood offering activities such as dance, outdoor adventure sports and football to local young people in order to ensure they have the same opportunities as everyone else.

In first place, Halewood Youth in Community Centre were awarded £3000 to put towards a new boxing ring, replacement gloves and gym flooring to allow them to keep offering fitness and training sessions to local children and people with additional needs. The community centre gym, the group estimates, is used by approximately 150 local people a week on average, leading to significant wear and tear.

Andrew Donaldson, Knowsley Council’s Executive Director for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said: “We are delighted that so many local groups and community organisations will benefit from a share of this funding. This support will provide increased and improved opportunities for a significant number of residents in Halewood and the wider borough. This is a fantastic initiative, turning the negative effect of criminal activity into a positive outcome for the communities it has impacted. Credit to our local policing in Knowsley for spearheading such a positive initiative and for helping to support such valuable local community projects.”

Wherever possible, Mereyside Police aims to redistribute the ill-gotten gains of criminal activity to the communities who have suffered, and events like this one take place across Merseyside to ensure the proceeds of crime are invested into making the region safer and happier.