Money taken from criminals put to good use in Wigan community

Cash seized from drug dealers and fraudsters is set to help fund anti-social behaviour crusaders on a Wigan estate.
The Giving Back campaign will fund projects in Marsh GreenThe Giving Back campaign will fund projects in Marsh Green
The Giving Back campaign will fund projects in Marsh Green

Police chiefs have earmarked £20,000 for schemes to reduce the unrest caused by troublemakers in Marsh Green.

Part of the Greater Manchester force’s Giving Back initiative, the area is one of three county-wide to be handpicked for assistance.

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The investment opportunity has been created by using the backing of the Asset Recovery Incentivisation Scheme (ARIS), which converts criminals’ ill-gotten gains into seed funding for positive works.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “Our scheme Giving Back is an opportunity for people to help us give money to individuals, organisations and groups that can help tackle anti-social behaviour in our communities. It’s all part of our commitment to working together, listening to our communities and sharing information to tackle the issues that matter most.”

Those interested in taking part are being urged to fill out an application form in the first instance. The deadline is midnight on February 14.

This will then be assessed by an independent advisory group, before the best ideas are shortlisted.

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Successful applicants will then be able to pitch their ideas to the public at a showcase at St Barnabas’s Church Hall on March 3.

Community campaigner Trevor Barton, who works with the Wigan Borough Community Partnership, has backed the police initiative.

He said: “This participatory budgeting initiative for Marsh Green hopefully is the precursor to several such schemes in our borough.”

Several groups are based at Marsh Green community centre, in Kitt Green Road, including the Wigan MS Therapy Centre, and there is also an active programme at St Barnabas’s Church.

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The area is ranked as one of the most deprived in the North West and the UK.

If you think you or a group/organisation you are involved with have a great idea to help tackle anti-social behaviour visit to apply to the scheme.