Justice Minister David Ford has allocated over £325,000 to 24 projects aimed at tackling crime and the fear of crime.
Asset Recovery Community SchemesThe funding from the Asset Recovery Community Scheme comes from assets seized from criminals. The Minister visited St Colman’s Primary School and All Saints Nursery Unit in Annaclone, Co Down, where he joined pupils who were learning about cyber safety through a project run by Bardic Education Arts and Media.
The project, which received funding of £21,000 from the scheme, aims to address the increasing problem of cyberbullying, and online criminal offences such as grooming. The programme will deliver age-appropriate, interactive e-safety drama based workshops to approximately 1,800 Key Stage 2 children in 60 primary schools throughout the new Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District council.
David Ford said: “I always welcome the opportunity to visit projects such as this and to meet the young people who are benefitting. This project combines an enjoyable and entertaining morning for the children with safety messages which will be vital for them as they become increasingly active online.
"Since the beginning of the Asset Recovery Community Scheme we have been able to distribute in excess of £3million to a wide range of projects across Northern Ireland. This tranche of funding represents more money which has been taken out of the hands of criminals and returned to the community. It will make a real difference in supporting those who want to do good for the community instead of inflicting harm and fear.”
Twenty three other projects across Northern Ireland have also benefitted with a total allocation this year of £325,000. These include projects promoting alcohol awareness, personal safety and those providing early intervention and diversionary activities for young people. There are also schemes helping to make older people feel safer in their homes. Each has the common aim of making Northern Ireland a safer place.
Notes to editors:
- The full list of successful recipient can be viewed at the publication section.
- Recovering criminal assets is an important focus of the Organised Crime Task Force’s work. Previously the Home Office retained 50% of all criminal assets recovered but following devolution, Justice Minister David Ford negotiated this money for Northern Ireland. The other 50% continues to be distributed to agencies responsible for the recovery of the assets.
- It is difficult to predict the level of funding that will be available in the future given changes year to year of assets recovered. The amount distributed each year will therefore vary.
- All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office on 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned.
- Photographs from the visit are available from Brian Morrison Photography.
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