A POLICE boss has given out at total of £17,000 seized from criminals to community projects in the last two years.
A total of 17 community groups in Hartlepool have benefited from the cash given out by Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger since he was elected in November 2012.
Stolen property recovered by police such as bikes, sat navs, and jewellery which can’t be traced back to their owners are auctioned with the proceeds going into The Property Act Fund.
Mr Coppinger said: “It’s a really rewarding part of my job to be able to take something back from the clutches of criminals and put it back into the communities which they have harmed.
“These grants have helped in a number of ways across the town, from funding training, diversity events, replacing old equipment and funding charity CCTV.
“Hartlepool has a really strong sense of community so I’m confident we will continue to grant more applications in the future when resources permit.”
The latest Hartlepool group to have benefited from the fund is the Kazoku Ryu Aikido Club which received £3,000 to help kick-start a new course in town.
The money will go towards new mats which Mr Coppinger got to test out for himself as he officially opened a three-day course led by French Sensei Jean-Pierre Fillaut, who flew in from Paris to teach students.
Children will also be able to use the new mats when the club opens its doors to juniors aged between 11 and 16 in a new Thursday night class.
Tony Hudspith, from the Kazku Ryu Aikido Club, said: “We’re so grateful for the funding from Barry, the mats we had were getting really old and we were desperate for new ones so we could continue.”
Anyone who would like to apply for the Police Property Act Funding can download an application form from www.cleveland.pcc.police.uk or contact the team on (01642) 301632.