The 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. Reflecting the success of An Garda Síochána and the Criminal Assets Bureau in seizing proceeds from criminal activity, the new fund will use money seized from the proceeds of crime to support investment in community safety projects. The Community Safety Innovation Fund, which is expected to grow in the coming years, will have an initial outlay of €2m for this year.
It is anticipated that the kind of projects which may be supported will include activities intended to:
- tackle crime or reduce the fear of crime; improve community safety and feelings of safety;
- support the creation of safe and resilient communities;
- reduce reoffending; or
- divert vulnerable individuals away from engagement in criminal behaviour.
The Minister 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 Fund is open to bodies involved in community safety and 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 6 April until 8 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.
This 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.