Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
01234 842208
One week left to apply for Bedfordshire PCC's Grant Fund
With just seven days left to apply, organisations which run projects preventing offending, protecting communities and supporting victims of crime to cope, recover and move forward are being urged to submit their application for the PCC’s Grant Fund now.

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, launched the 2019/20 Grant Fund application process at the beginning of December, and the window of opportunity is due to close on Friday 11 January. The PCC’s Grant Fund of approximately £1.6m is created by combining a grant from the Ministry of Justice and funding from the Bedfordshire Police Force budget which produces a flexible and accessible grant opportunity aimed at promoting innovative and collaborative working across Bedfordshire. 

“I’m particularly interested in projects from within communities themselves rather than all the 'usual suspects’ to tackle gang, gun and knife crime and in the principle of early intervention with very young children to help them become more resilient and go on to play a full part in society if faced with all the adverse early experiences including living in households where there is domestic abuse, drug and alcohol addiction and poverty where their development is neglected,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“My office will help with advice if people have never applied for a grant like this before and the grant can be for any sum from £50 to £50,000 if the idea and evidence are good enough. 

“Where established organisations are concerned, I will fund projects where I am not the only one making the investment since properly joined up working means more than one organisation putting its hands in its pockets and developing a service together,” said the PCC.

Last year, the Commissioner funded an enhanced new service for all victims of crime in Bedfordshire, called Signpost. The free and confidential service is a one-stop-shop for all the information a victim of crime needs to know. Signpost consists of a call centre of specialist Victim Care Coordinators, available on freephone 0800 0282 887, running six days a week (Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm, Saturday 9am – 5pm). Signpost also has an online directory of all support services for those affected by different crimes (and a section telling them what will happen next if they report these crimes to the police) at signpostforbedfordshire.com.

Signpost contacts victims of a crime within 24 hours where officers believe they may benefit from extra support and aims to give first class support and care to both victims and those also affected by crime, such as partners, children or parents. It also provides access to Restorative Justice, which brings those harmed by crime and those responsible for the harm together, often face to face in a safe environment, enabling those affected by a particular incident to express their views of what the crime meant to them and to find a more positive way forward. The new service provided help to more victims than were said to have been assisted by its predecessor over the whole of the last year, in just two months from its launch on 1 April 2018.

“I’m absolutely delighted by the success of the Signpost service which has quite literally transformed the services for victims in Bedfordshire. This coming year I intend to repeat this model - of an online directory of all services and a one-stop-shop of specialist advisors to work with offenders this time, to try to give genuine assistance to those emerging from prison to avoid setting them up for failure on release. This service will be called Direction and we aim to launch in the Spring,” said Commissioner Holloway.

The PCC has commissioned multiple organisations supporting victims of Domestic Abuse and Child Sexual Exploitation and other crimes against women and children such as Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage. In 2018-19, Commissioner Holloway also funded organisations such as the Anne Frank Trust to work in schools across the county to combat prejudice and prevent Hate Crime through the story of Anne Frank and established Bedfordshire’s first dedicated counselling service to help male victims of sexual and domestic abuse. 

The Commissioning Fund is now open and details can be found in the Campaigns and Initiatives section of the OPCC website,
www.bedfordshire.pcc.police.uk under Funding Opportunities. Applications close on Friday 11 January 2019 at 5pm. If you have any questions, please contact the OPCC on 01234 842064 or email PCC-Commissioning@Bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk.