Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has welcomed the news that his party colleague Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has opened applications for a new fund which will see the proceeds of crime re-invested in local projects to improve community safety.
Senator Cummins said “I would like to commend Minister McEntee for taking on board the suggestions which have been made both within and outside the Fine Gael party to establish a fund which would see money seized from the proceeds of crime being used to support investment in our communities. I believe this is an innovative a proactive response which will support the creation of stronger safer communities.
He added ““Cash seized by state agencies has been on the rise for some years now, and rather than return this money to the exchequer for general spending, channelling it to the communities that need it the most to help them prevent crime from taking place will allow us to use the proceeds of crime to make our communities safer.
Minister McEntee said “An Garda Síochána and the Criminal Assets Bureau have achieved significant success in seizing the ill-gotten gains of criminal gangs who seek to inflict misery on so many communities. This new fund will ensure that the success of An Garda Síochána and CAB is reflected in new investments in our communities, and on projects which will build strong and safe communities.
“Community Safety is about people being safe and, just as importantly, feeling safe within their communities. This, of course, goes beyond policing alone. This fund will ensure that the best proposals get the funding they need, and it will encourage the development of innovative ways in which to improve community safety from those people who understand local needs best - for example, the new fund could help communities improve public spaces, or fund local sporting or arts facilities.”
The Community Safety Innovation Fund will have initial allocation of €2million and is open to bodies involved in community safety. It will support them in addressing local needs and opportunities for innovation not provided for in other funds managed by Departments and agencies. The call for applications for the Fund runs from 6th April until 8th June 2022 and grants will range from €20,000 to €150,000. The development of innovative ideas will also allow best practice on community safety and youth justice to be shared with other partnerships and communities nationally as new proposals are developed.
Senator Cummins concluded by saying “I expect the community safety innovation fund will grow in the coming years. The launch fulfils a commitment in Justice Plan 2022 to seek applications for community safety projects and similar initiatives from bodies involved in community safety. Completed Application Forms are to be returned by 5 pm on 8 June 2022 to CommunitySafetyInnovationFund@justice.ie. For more information visit https://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/CSI-Fund-2022.