Justice Minister Naomi Long has announced funding worth almost £1 million of investment in communities from proceeds of crime receipts.
The funding from the Assets Recovery Community Scheme (ARCS) has been allocated across 82 projects to help make a positive difference by tackling crime and the fear of crime. These projects, which will be delivered throughout Northern Ireland, have been offered funding totalling approximately £337,000 in 2022/23 and £625,000 in 2023/24.
The ARCS budget is derived from confiscation orders which may be made following a criminal conviction to recover the proceeds of crime. The Scheme supports the Department’s commitment to work in partnership to create a fair, just and safe community where we respect the law and each other.
Naomi Long said: “The Scheme is an excellent example of investing in our people and communities to enable positive change. The projects supported in this round of funding will benefit victims, communities and the environment through a wide range of programmes. I trust that this funding will help make a difference in supporting people who want to work for the good of their community.”
Recovering the proceeds of crime and reinvesting ill-gotten gains, into communities impacted by serious organised criminality, sends a powerful message that crime does not pay. Initiatives funded include working with young people to build skills and confidence; addressing anti-social behaviour and environmental crime; reducing re-offending; supporting victims of modern slavery, labour exploitation, domestic abuse and hate crime; raising awareness of fraud and scams and organised crime; and support for community safety initiatives.
Naomi Long added: “The impact of organised crime, motivated by financial gain, can affect individuals, communities and businesses. I commend the work of partners on the Organised Crime Task Force who prioritise the identification and removal of criminal assets. We can all play a part in tackling it. I would encourage anyone with any concerns to call the police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111”
Notes to editors:
1. Further details about the funding allocations is available at https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/publications/asset-recovery-community-schemes
2. Recovering criminal assets is an important focus for the partners of the Organised Crime Task Force. 50% of receipts from paid criminal confiscation orders goes into the ARCS budget, the other 50% continues to be distributed to agencies responsible for the recovery of the assets.
3. Applications were invited for innovative and transformational justice initiatives, for projects over the 2022/23 – 2023/24 period.
4. 82 projects have been offered a total of almost £1 million funding, for services to be delivered in the period up to 31 March 2024.
5. Media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
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