By Gregor Sleith
Organisations across the country that help disadvantaged youths have been given extra funding via seized criminal assets.
The CashBack for Communities programme is aimed at young people aged 10-24 living in areas hardest hit by crime across Scotland and has been successfully operating since 2008.
Twenty-four projects have received a windfall in the latest round of pay-outs from the CashBack For Communities which reinvests seized criminal cashflows back into community activities largely, but not exclusively, for young people at risk of turning to crime and antisocial behaviour.
Basketball Scotland, Barnardo’s, Celtic Football Club Foundation, National Society, Rangers Charity Foundation, SFA and Action For Children are some of the groups receiving funding.
Ministers announced in June 2007 that they would use the funds recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) in a positive way to expand young people’s horizons and increase the opportunities they have to develop their interests and skills.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “CashBack is a unique and potentially life-transforming programme that helps expand young people’s horizons and supports them to realise their ambitions and reach their full potential.
“This phase of CashBack has a particular focus on projects that support young people and communities most affected by crime.
“Since the programme began in 2008, we have delivered over two-and-a-half million activities and opportunities for young people across Scotland and I am delighted that many further young people will be supported and inspired over the next three years.”
Each phase of Cashback has built on the success of the previous phase, learning lessons and developing to better support the ambition of young people in Scotland.
Phase 5 will provide a range of activities for young people between the ages of 10-24 which:
- Supports people, families and communities most affected by crime
- Support those most at risk of being involved in antisocial behaviour, offending or reoffending into positive destinations
- Support young people most at risk of entering the justice system.
The latest round of funding awards takes the total investment in the programme since its launch to more than £110 million.