In February Merseyside Police launched its Community Cashback Fund, inviting community groups across Merseyside to apply for up to £5,000 funding in order to further develop existing projects or to start new ones.
The Community Cashback Fund is one of a number of initiatives that take place throughout the year to enable Merseyside Police to reinvest some of the money seized from criminals back into local communities. It’s not too late to apply as applications are open until 20 March 2022.
The Merseyside Police Community Cashback Fund utilises the money and assets seized from criminals through the Proceeds of Crime Act and reinvests it back into local communities to help provide vital resources and fund community projects across Merseyside.
It is aimed at strengthening community resilience by supporting local clubs and groups, which in turn helps to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, promote diversionary activities, and support vulnerable members of the community.
There is £100,000 available for community projects during this round of the fund, with £70k coming from the proceeds of crime and a further £30k of funding provided by the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership to enable more grassroots projects and community groups to be supported.
In the last financial year Merseyside Police has seized an estimated £3,640,000.00 in suspected ill-gotten cash.
Between 1 April 2021 to date, and by using a variety of methods including stop checks by officers, drug searches and warrants, there have been a total of 449 cash forfeiture orders and 150 confiscation orders (obtained following a conviction) all under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
Seizures have included:
- A black BMW was stopped by officers in Litherland under the misuse of drugs act, which led to the discovery of £200,000 in the vehicle. A further search of the drivers home address found another £50,000 in cash. A home in Netherton was searched later and more than £500,000 in cash was found in Tesco bags for life.
- From what started as a stop check on a car in Huyton turned into an extensive investigation into serious and organised crime and money laundering offences. Officers found a suitcase with nearly £500,000 in cash inside. A further search of a property led to the discovery of over an additional £300,000 and Class B drugs.
Detective Inspector Sean Bylinski-Gelder from Merseyside Police’s Economic Crime Team, said, “These seizures go to show that our work to stop criminals is ongoing and relentless. It pays dividends when the money can be reinvested back into the force to be distributed to worthy causes that benefit the communities who are often blighted by crime.
“We know how frustrated law-abiding members of the community feel when they believe that criminals are allowed to keep the ill-gotten gains.
“I want them to be reassured that when money is seized from someone suspected of being involved in criminal enterprise we will do everything we can to thoroughly investigate and where necessary ensure the cash, or assets are seized from them.“The Community Cashback initiative is one way of ensuring that the money seized goes where it can make the biggest difference.”