DPFCC sees positive impact of Property Fund in Penrith
Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Mike Johnson, visited Triple A in Penrith and Penrith Leisure Centre to see the positive work that they have done with their Property Fund grants.
The Property Fund is a result of the disposal of property from criminals coming into the possession of the police. The aim of the fund is to enable local organisations and community groups to access up to £2,500 to help reduce crime and disorder.
Triple A is an organisation that supports people with autism. The team were awarded £2,500 to provide support to adults with autism who have been referred through the local police at point of arrest. The support is given to reduce likelihood of self-harm, low mental wellbeing, and support the family through a court process, where necessary, and liaise with the Liaison and Diversion Police Team. Part of the funding will also provide education to the service users to reduce the risk of re-offending. The DPFCC met with CEO of Triple A, Marc Crank, to hear more about their work in relation to the Property Fund.
The DPFCC then met with Andy Coltart, the lead climbing instructor at Penrith Leisure Centre. Mr. Coltart, alongside volunteers, provides free climbing lessons to young people as a diversionary tactic away from anti-social behaviour. The Centre received £1,985.66 from the OPFCC’s Property Fund to provide equipment for the climbing wall and to cover the costs of the sessions. The project is part of the one-up initiative that was set up by the Child Centred Policing Team (CCPT) across the county and works with partners to provide free sporting activities for at risk young people to break the cycle of low-level offending and anti-social behaviour. Referrals to the group are made by the CCPT and Neighbourhood Policing Team in the area. Since receiving the funding in early 2023, six sessions have been provided to 12 young people from Penrith.
Speaking on the visit, DPFCC Mike Johnson, said: “Property Fund can provide a significant boost to community initiatives that aim to have a positive impact on their community.
“Initiatives such as those from Triple A and Penrith Leisure Centre are integral to helping reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in our areas so I’m always really interested to see the benefits first-hand.
“Providing people, who are potentially on a negative path, with a positive diversion, support and education is a fantastic way to reduce future crimes. Especially to those who have a different way of thinking and viewing the world, such as those who are supported by Triple A.
“Marc, his colleagues, Andy and the volunteers, alongside the Police, do a great job and I can see the positive impact that it is having on the people involved.
“The Property Fund is open again so I would encourage anyone with a project to apply. More information can be found on the OPFCC website – Property Fund – Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (cumbria-pcc.gov.uk)”
Marc Crank, Chief Executive of Triple A, said: Triple A is delighted to be able to work with Mike on his reducing crime agenda.
“Our grant from the Property Fund has enabled us to work with five autistic individuals who have found themselves involved in offending behaviour and at risk of prosecution.
“The grant pays for one-to-one- mentoring to address offending behaviours and reduce the risk of reoffending, which can be increased by the tendency for autistic people to experience social naivety.”
Andy Coltart, the lead climbing instructor at Penrith Leisure Centre comments: “Using climbing to tackle anti-social behaviour gives us the opportunity to put young offenders and Police officers together on a climbing wall.
“Through such activities the young people learn about power, respect and responsibility and how and when they are used. They also learn about trust which has a huge impact on their relationship with the Police and the wider community.”