The CashBack for Communities programme takes the ill-gotten gains of crime, recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and invests them into community programmes, facilities and activities largely, but not exclusively, for young people at risk of turning to crime and anti-social behaviour as a way of life.
Projects range from diversionary work to more long-term potentially life-changing 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. The Programme includes a number of partnerships with Scottish sporting, arts, business, community and youth associations. CashBack also provides much needed funding to sports and community facilities for essential refurbishment and renovation.
The key principles that underpin all CashBack activities include:
- Positive – broadly defined as wholesome, healthy, fun, active, engaging
- Open to all – accessible, well advertised, free of charge, of interest to all ages and to both boys and girls, ethnic minorities, young people with disabilities etc
- Developmental – changing behaviours and attitudes, developing personal and physical skills
- Sustainable – providing medium and long term as well as short term benefits; linked to mainstream funding
Since the inception of Cashback for Communities in 2007, over £50 million recovered from proceeds of crime has been invested or fully committed to a wide range of sporting, cultural, educational and mentoring activities for children and young people throughout Scotland. This has generated over 11,000 volunteers and has benefitted over 600,000 young people.
This investment includes over £24 million on sporting activities and facilities projects; £10 million on grant schemes that support youth work projects across all 32 local authority areas; over £3.5 million on cultural activities involving arts, music and dance.