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Making criminals pay communities back

26 June 2009

A new programme will let you decide how money seized from criminals will be spent in your community.

The programme, called Community Cashback, is designed to give you more of a say in how criminals' pay your community back for their crimes.

The latest Home Office figures show that the value of assets recovered from criminals this year rose to an all time high of £148m.

Until now that money has been split between frontline services, such as the police and courts. This is the first time a portion of that money is being paid back into communities.

Get involved

You will be able to vote on the Community Cashback website (new window) to decide which local projects should receive money. You can also suggest a project in your area that deserves investment.

You can also make suggestions of worthy projects at your local neighbourhood police meetings, or through citizens' panels (new window).

New projects that provide good value for money, and are related in some way to preventing anti-social or criminal behaviour, will all be considered. The kinds of projects that would qualify include things like renovating a vandalised playground, enhancing a youth centre or improving security on a housing estate.

Stronger voice for local people

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said the scheme gives the public the chance to decide which projects will make a difference.

He said, 'The Community Cashback fund will ensure a portion of the ill-gotten gains of criminals are ploughed back into communities at a grassroots level, funding the projects that the public decide will make the most positive difference to their lives.’

But he said it would only work if people took part and got involved.

‘We are giving local people a stronger voice - I hope they will use it.’ 

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