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Commissioner hears how scheme funded by proceeds of crime supporting young people in Blackpool

26 June, 2018

Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has heard how a project which received £100,000 that was seized from criminals is working to support young people who may be showing signs of sexually harmful behaviour before they offend, and prevent from becoming victims of Child Sexual Exploitation.

The ‘Enlighten’ project, run through Blackpool Council, received the funding as part of money allocated in 2016 which was recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act, to deliver preventative interventions which reduce vulnerability and disrupt harmful behaviour, through therapy and diversionary activity.

The scheme was one of 15 organisations to get a share of almost £500,000 in 2016, with funding given out across the county.

More than 90 applications, totalling around £3.6m, were received through the Commissioner’s POCA scheme, with grants awarded to those that met set criteria and help achieve the priorities in his police and crime plan.

Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said:

“It has been great to hear first-hand the hard work that has gone into delivering this project, which is supporting young people through targeted interventions that mean less are at risk of sexual exploitation, whilst engaging those who may be displaying the early signs of sexual violence to ensure they do not offend in the future.

“This project is supporting vulnerable people and working with them so they do not become victims of crime, whilst also intervening with young people who are at risk of committing a crime before they do so, which are key priorities in my police and crime plan.

“Working together across the public sector is crucial to this early intervention work and it has been really encouraging to hear about all the different agencies and organisations involved in making this project a reality. I’m looking forward to seeing this work develop further, which also highlights the real difference that grants such as this can make within our communities.

Claire Grant, Divisional Commissioning Manager (Children’s) at Blackpool Council and lead on the Enlighten project, said:

“In Blackpool there is a growing awareness of the need to work with children and young people upstream in a more preventative way rather than waiting for young people to emerge in criminal justice, mental health and social care settings.

“Enlighten seeks to provide a flexible integrated system to meet the needs of vulnerable children and young people, wrapping support around them when they need it.”

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