Police chief's £150,000 bid to cut youth crime in Northumberland and across the North East

Youth and community groups are being invited to help cut crime with a £150,000 offer from Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness.

By Tom Patterson
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 1:33 pm

The Commissioner has re-opened her Operation Payback funding pot - inviting groups in the Northumbria Police area to apply for a share to pay for activities that will help curb anti-social behaviour over the summer holidays.

Operation Payback uses cash taken from criminals and puts it back into local projects.

Ms McGuinness aims to see the cash pay for activities such as sports tournaments, dance classes and DJ-ing workshops to constructively fill in the time for youngsters during the summer holidays.

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Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness.

She said: “The cost of Living crisis is hitting far too many people, particularly in our region, and not everyone can afford days out at theme parks or to jet off somewhere sunny.

"That is why I’m asking young people what they want to have on offer, on their doorstep, to help keep them entertained.”

She added: “There’s no better use for cash seized from crime than channelling it right back into communities to help prevent more crime.

"Our police know the local anti-social behaviour hotspots and are planning extra patrols and crackdown operations, but if we are going to curb the number of incidents, I want to throw everything at helping young people access the alternative.

"It is about preventing crime in the first place.”

She added: “This isn’t all about kids. It also aims to help improve the quality of life for everyone in our communities.

"People tell me they can feel intimidated by groups of youths gathering at Metro stations and shopping centres or vandalising the local park.

"I want to give kids a far more attractive way to spend their time and exploring their talents – boxing, dance, football, music – you tell me.”

Operation Payback is part of wider of action happening across the Northumbria Police force area – with further projects to combat anti-social behaviour due to be announced by Ms McGuinness before the summer holidays.

Applications for financial help close on Sunday June 19.