CASH seized from County Lines gangs will be used to help children and young people in North Wales

Tackling serious and organised crime will be a priority for the special £40,000 fund set up by North Wales and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones - with the support of North Wales Police and the North Wales Police and Crime Trust (PACT) - as part of the Your Community Your Choice scheme.

Half the money will be contributed by the commissioner with the rest coming from a pot of cash confiscated from criminals via the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Mr Jones, a former police inspector, said: “The focus of this year’s Your Community Your Choice fund is to counter the threat to our communities coming from drug gangs from the urban areas, using or exploiting young people to deal drugs in our communities.

“What better way than using the proceeds of crime than helping communities build resilience amongst their own young people.

“There is an element of poetic justice in using money obtained through crime to address the problem of crime in our communities."

As a result, two community groups in each county in North Wales will receive up to £2,500 each whilst there will be two £5,000 grants available for organisations working across three or more counties in North Wales.

Mr Jones added:“The aim is to build up resilience in communities to resist this threat, and to resist organised crime groups infiltrating our towns and villages and exploiting and coercing vulnerable young people to deal in drugs. Essentially, we are talking about the scourge of the County Lines gangs.

“North Wales Police has taken great steps in addressing the County Lines issue, and identifying those responsible, and actually taking the gangs out. We’ve had some great successes in taking organised crime groups.

“But our communities need to play their part in reporting this to Crime Stoppers who can be contacted anonymously by ringing 0800 555 111."

Assistant Chief Constable Sacha Hatchett agreed: “These awards are important because they involve the community and the communities decide where the money can best be spent.

“A lot of what we fund is aimed at providing something for young people to get involved with in their spare time rather than being tempted to commit crime or indulge in anti-social behaviour.

“We want to support communities so they are able to take responsibility for their own areas.

“But our communities need to play their part in reporting this to Crime Stoppers who can be contacted anonymously by ringing 0800 555 111.

The window for groups to submit applications opens for a four week period on November 11, with the winners being chosen by a public vote.

Applications must be returned by e-mail to by 5pm on Friday, December 6. For more information go to the North Wales Police website,r the commissioner’s or call 01745 588516.