Police and Crime Commissioner, Michael Lane is setting aside £500,000 to sustain local provision of services to protect victims, support those vulnerable to crime, and work with offenders to reduce demand on hard pressed service providers. This funding will address issues that are emerging as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through consultation and work with partners a number of emerging issues and areas of concern directly linked to the pandemic have been highlighted, including domestic abuse, missing children, hate crime, cyber-crime and the vulnerability of older people and exploitation of young people.
The Commissioner has set up the £500,000 COVID-19 Response Fund to provide urgent investment to help those organisations that have the relevant expertise to tackle these issues and provide critical support and protection for the most vulnerable in our communities.
Michael Lane said: “We are living in a challenging and dynamically changing time and I am committed to doing all I can to support those delivering vital services to protect people from harm, support victims and reduce offending.
“The innovation, creativity, determination and compassion of the local organisations working to keep our communities safer is inspiring.
“It is important that we harness and benefit from the knowledge and intelligence of those people with direct experience of what works and seek to support them to deliver what is needed. It is especially important to act quickly to enable services to continue and be effective in these circumstances.”
The new fund will enable those at the frontline of providing services to concentrate on their support to service users and minimise disruption.
The COVID-19 Response Fund is part of the package of funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner that is being made available to keep communities safer at this unprecedented time.
The Commissioner also set up a COVID-19 Keeping Communities Safer Fund. The first round in April has completed and over forty small grants have been approved directly to support very local community projects that will keep people safer in their community.
The COVID-19 Response Fund is to specifically address the impact of the pandemic for victims of crime, those individuals who cause harm and the most vulnerable in our communities, and not to address more generic gaps in services at this time. Further funding opportunities linked to the Safer Communities Fund will be announced shortly.
The fund will provide urgent investment and critical support to existing providers delivering vital services in the advance of a funding decision from the Ministry of Justice. Requests for additional resources will be subject to appropriate local scrutiny.