800k crime assets fund crime prevention projects in Northern Ireland
15 February 2012
According to the BBC, the Justice Minister, David Ford, has agreed with Home Office that almost £800,000 of assets seized from criminals in Northern Ireland is to be allocated to community projects to help fight crime.
In the past, the Home Office would have retained 50% of all criminal assets recovered but successful lobbying has ensured this will now be reinvested back into Northern Ireland. The other half will go to assets recovery agencies as usual.
"I have lobbied to ensure this extra money remains in Northern Ireland and is targeted at preventing crime and the fear of crime," Mr Ford said.
"Obviously it is difficult to predict the level of funding that will be available in the future given changes year to year of assets recovered, but I am optimistic that there will be a general increase in funding in coming years.
"Recovering criminal assets is an important focus of the Organised Crime Task Force's work and to reinvest those ill-gotten gains back into the community helps tackle crime and the fear of crime."
Among the projects to benefit are programmes to reduce anti-social behaviour, support for older people and victims of domestic violence as well as initiatives to prevent rural crime and to educate young people about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.