Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
01234 842064
PCC invests over 1.3 million to help support victims of crime and improve community safety
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has allocated over £1.3 million to organisations providing vital projects supporting victims across the county to improve community safety, offender rehabilitation and mental health services for those in crisis who would otherwise contact police. 
 
The Commissioner awarded £1,383,948 to 33 organisations who will run projects and programmes across Bedfordshire. The PCC has also set aside £300,000 for the next PCC to give them the ability to fund services that would support the objectives of their future Police and Crime Plan, following the next PCC election in May.
 
“I am delighted with the value of the projects which pitched for my funding this year, who have proved they can work in a Covid secure way, and who are almost all working with partners and co-funded - to get public money flowing cohesively across these services, but I haven’t spent all the Commissioner’s Fund.
 
“Before I came into the role, it is a fair comment to say that there had pretty much been a race on to spend all available funds, which would have committed me to my predecessor’s agenda for a quarter of what was planned as a four year term. It would be hypocritical not to make arrangements now which allow my successor to set their own priorities,” said PCC Holloway.
 
The PCC is standing down voluntarily in May and has already served an extra year on top of her four year term after the PCC election last year was postponed.
 
One particular focus of this year’s funding is to support Bedfordshire Police in issuing conditional cautions meaning that, as an alternative to other sentences, perpetrators have to commit to a demanding drug and alcohol rehabilitation programme and stick to it.
 
“This is not an easy option. The fact is that these addictions fuel most habitual and prolific crimes like burglary, street robbery and shoplifting and only breaking the addiction will stop this in its tracks,” said the PCC.
 
Penrose was one of the successful organisations in the 2021/2022 application process. They will be offering Project CATE which is a 12-month pilot service to support women turn away from a life of criminality if they have any of the following:
 
  • have a history of drug and/or alcohol misuse
  • a history of offending or who are at risk of offending
  • are at risk more widely from exploitation
 
The PCC funded a number of organisations delivering Early Intervention Programmes, for example The Blues Foundation which is a project funded to promote positive life choices amongst young people.
 
Tom Harwood, Foundation Manager for the Blues Foundation, said: “We are delighted to receive a grant from the PCC, the grant will allow us to continue to engage with young people at risk of offending and those who would benefit most from a sport and physical activity intervention. Our Tackle LIFE project takes young people through a series of workshops and enrichment activities that develops resilience, confidence and team work, as well as a significant focus on physical and mental health.”
 
Wicketz is a community cricket programme delivered in partnership with Cricket East, targeting young people aged 8-19, living in areas of high deprivation. Wicketz goes beyond getting young people to play cricket: it provides wider opportunities for young people to develop social and personal skills such as confidence, resilience, respect, teamwork and leadership. This is achieved through reactive learning within cricket sessions and life skills workshops. With the support of community partners, Wicketz tackles some of the most challenging social issues faced by young people across Luton, with participants playing a part in shaping their project. Wicketz has
already engaged young people from 30 different ethnicities and includes young people who do not normally engage with or enjoy sport – including minority communities, young offenders, excluded pupils, refugees and some girls. 
 
Dan Wilson, Programme Manager for Wicketz, said: “The funding from the PCC’s 21/22 grant fund will be hugely important for the Wicketz programme to continue the work we have been delivering in Luton. Using cricket as our intervention tool, we will continue to engage some of the most vulnerable young people across Luton, using sport as a way to bring people together and educate them on issues that adversely affect young people in the community.
 
“We are so grateful for the funding the PCC has granted us, and we can’t wait to continue the important work we have started in Luton, providing better futures for vulnerable young people in the town.”
 
Basil Willis, from the Right Track, another successful project in its bid for grant funding in 2021/2022, said: “As a young voluntary group the Right Track appreciates the opportunity that the PCC's funding will give us to create much needed workshops targeting young adults with the theme centred around early intervention. We hope that this initiative with the support of the PCC and the police can make a difference to their futures and help towards putting them back on the right track.”
 
 Another priority of the PCC is helping those in mental health crisis who otherwise rely on calling police and the other blue light services. This Hub works in three distinct parts
 
- Placing a mental health nurse within Bedfordshire Police’s Force Contact Centre (FCC - the control room) to deal directly with callers in crisis, providing support and tactical advice to police officers, as well as coaching and guidance for all call handlers in the management of mental health related calls
 
- Installing a mental health nurse in the PCC’s Signpost victim support service to deal directly with callers with mental health issues and offer support and guidance to colleagues dealing with those affected by crime who are in crisis
 
- Creating the Serenity Integrated Mentoring (SIM) programme, providing named officers and mental health workers for each of the most high intensity users of all the emergency services in the county; often as a result of high risk mental health related issues that may result in a service user being sectioned.
 
 
For the financial year 2021/2022, the PCC has extended the following services to continue to provide their so much needed support within Bedfordshire. All of the new grants have been awarded and can be viewed online:
https://www.bedfordshire.pcc.police.uk/GrantFund21-22
 
  • Community Watch Scheme: To support local crime prevention drives
  • You Turn Futures- Direction and Conditional Caution : To support individuals who wish to turn away from an addiction that has been a cause of their criminal actions  
  • Youth Offending Service: Work with the young people of Bedfordshire to stop them from becoming too far embedded in a life a longer life of crime 
  • Family Drug and Alcohol Court: That works with families that would usually have children removed from the household if the family are willing to go into a supported programme 
  • Signpost: The victims service resource for Bedfordshire
  • Change Ur Life: A Domestic Abuse service for levels of abuse that are currently not supported elsewhere in the county
  • Luton All Women’s Centre : Support for women in Luton who have suffered Domestic Abuse  
  • Early Childhood Partnership: Working with young people who have seen abuse in the home  
  • Embrace – Children Victims of Crime : Work with children who are victims of crime
  • Bedford Open Door : Expert counselling and support for complex cases
  • The Change Portfolio: Domestic Abuse perpetrator programme to stop the cycle of abuse
  • Luton and Dunstable NHS Trust: To support the use of the Helipad at the hospital for victims of violent crime
  • FACES and Link to Change : Working with the entire family for both prevention and response to crime

The projects will run from 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2022 and will be accessible through the organisations directly or via the Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit (VERU) which works to divert young people from gangs and violence  For more information about the work of VERU, please visit bedsveru.org