Minister Sugden – 25 community projects to benefit from Asset Recovery Scheme

Date published: 05 July 2016

Justice Minister Claire Sugden announces the allocation of over £453,000 to projects aimed at tackling crime and the fear of crime this year.

The funding from the Asset Recovery Community Scheme comes from assets seized from criminals.  The Minister today visited projects by The Playhouse and Men’s Action Network in Londonderry.          

The Playhouse’s “Street Talk Film” project, which received funding of £11,750 aims to use the medium of film as part of a workshop programme to divert young people from becoming involved in paramilitarism.  The Men’s Action Network, which received funding of £18,080, will work with offenders from the age of 16 who are preparing for release from prison.  Their “Breaking the Cycle” Programme is designed to challenge repeat offending.

Claire Sugden said: “I always welcome the opportunity to visit projects such as these and to meet the young people who are benefitting. These two projects approach the fight against crime from different angles – one trying to divert young people from becoming involved and one trying to help those who have offended to find a different path on their release from prison.

"Since the beginning of the Asset Recovery Community Scheme we have been able to distribute in the region of £4million 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 four other projects across Northern Ireland have also benefitted with a total allocation this year of over £453,000.  These include projects educating the elderly on scam awareness, supporting those offending through drug and alcohol problems and mentoring programmes for young people.

Notes to editors: 

  1. View the full list of the successful recipients
  2. 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, the then 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

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