Crime pays £1 million for kids
A further £1 million of criminals’ cash will be put back into community youth work projects over the next two years, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced today.
This brings the total funds from the proceeds of crime allocated to the CashBack for Communities Youth Work Fund to over £7.5 million.
The national agency for youth work, YouthLink Scotland, administers the funding which has now been distributed to 641 separate organisations delivering diversionary youth work across all 32 local authority areas.
The projects aim to engage young people in exciting and challenging developmental youth work opportunities in communities across Scotland.
Mr MacAskill said:
"Organised crime brings misery to individuals and communities. It is only right that bad cash confiscated from criminals is put to good use improving lives, increasing chances for young people and keeping kids out of trouble.
"This latest round of funding fulfils a Scottish Government commitment to expand the successful CashBack for Communities Programme and means that more than £45 million of crooks’ cash has gone towards getting bored kids off the streets and into positive activities, offering them the chance to be all they can be and give something back to their communities.
"Our CashBack programmes improve self-confidence and self-esteem for our young people, while supporting and turning around communities worst hit by crime and anti-social behaviour through an ever growing series of sports and cultural diversionary activities."
Chief Executive of YouthLink Scotland Jim Sweeney said:
"YouthLink Scotland welcomes the allocation of a further £1 million of funding for the CashBack for Communities Youth Work Fund over the next two years.
"For the many young people and communities it engages with every day, youth work represents the ultimate form of preventative spend and can often help to improve the employability chances of the young people it works in partnership with.
"CashBack funding has so far supported more than 640 individual youth work organisations from across Scotland to engage with young people and help to build their skills, self-confidence and sense of community cohesion through a range of challenging and exciting activities.
"It has become a catalyst for first class partnership work underpinned by meaningful involvement from local communities and I am glad that this fund will be continued over the next two years."
The Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme uses the ill-gotten gains of crime, recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and invests them back into communities across Scotland.
Projects range from diversionary sporting and cultural activities, community based projects through to longer-term intervention projects, which aim to turn an individual’s life around and provide them the opportunity of a positive destination such as employment, education, or volunteering.
Money is provided to support a wide range of sporting, cultural, educational and mentoring activities for younger children and young people aged 10-19 years.
Since its launch in 2007, over £45 million has been invested in this way, allowing some 600,000 young Scots to participate in a wide range of positive activities in their communities.
The CashBack Youth Work Fund distributes grant award funding to youth work organisations in order to provide diversionary events and activities that are developmental in nature for young people ages 10-19 years who are at risk of becoming involved in anti social behaviour.