Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
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PCC allocates 1.6 million pounds from Grant Fund to help victims and reduce crime in Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has been in the hot seat for the past fortnight to decide which organisations will be awarded money from her Grant Fund to help victims and reduce crime in Bedfordshire over the next year and she has tried to involve a wider cross section of our communities than ever before in making the decisions.

The commissioning team received applications for the 2018/19 Grant Fund totalling more than £2.6 million worth of bids to help victims and increase community safety in the county. Over the last two weeks (12 – 26 March), 24 of the 76 applicants have been presenting for an hour each to a panel of experts and residents from across the county who decide if any of the £1.6 million of grant funding will be allocated to them.

“I’ve promised to be a Commissioner for all communities and I’ve tried very hard to reflect this in the make-up of the grants’ panels. Those who wanted to launch projects to work with young people had to present to a panel with three youth representatives helping to ask questions about their proposed projects, for example. We’ve had representation from our diverse communities and from the LGBT community too. This isn’t tokenism. It’s making sure that those who might benefit directly from some of these schemes have a genuine say in whether they feel these are the best ways to tackle problems and help victims of crimes from knife crime to hate crime,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“The bids we’ve reviewed together so far range from providing access to affordable housing, life and employment skills training and overnight shelters for the homeless to youth activities in areas associated with gang and knife crime. In the weeks ahead we will hear from those providing support for women and children escaping violence at home and we’ve already heard from a proposed project to help male victims of domestic and sexual abuse,” she said.

The panels also included safeguarding experts from local authorities across Bedfordshire and charities together with the independent chair of the Police and Crime Panel, Paul Cain.

“This was my first opportunity to sit in and review all of the funding applications. It was an excellent opportunity to see and hear all of the superb applications and ideas. I personally found it an excellent learning experience and to see first-hand the open and transparent process followed in granting this important funding.

"It also demonstrated the excellent work of the OPCC in joining up so many of the ideas and opportunities from a vast array of organisations,” said Mr Cain.

“It’s incredibly important to me that this process is free from any suggestion of taint - that it’s seen to be fair, balanced and open and is based purely on the quality of the bids and the people who want to lead these projects. I have almost twice the number of bids as funds available and I will make sure that anyone who is unsuccessful has the opportunity to gain feedback which could improve their chances in future years,” said the PCC.

The application process for the Grant Fund was officially launched at the start of the year (Wednesday, 3 January) and closed on Monday 19 February resulting in 76 applications having been received.

The PCC’s Grant Fund is created by combining a grant from the Ministry of Justice and funding from the Bedfordshire Police force budget, producing a flexible and accessible grant opportunity aimed at promoting innovative and collaborative working across Bedfordshire.