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Ford casts seized criminal assets funding line to community projects

Justice Minister David Ford tried his hand at fishing with young people from the Castlereagh area as he announced funding for 24 community projects from seized criminal assets.

TAGIT fishing club’s Casting for Safer Communities is just one of the projects benefitting from £335,000 of funding from the latest round of the Assets Recovery Community Scheme. The Scheme uses funds seized from criminals to tackle crime, anti-social behaviour and the fear of crime. dn_screen

The TAGIT project, which works with hard to reach young people and provides a mix of education and sporting activity, has been awarded £3,500 to purchase fly-fishing rods, reels, lines and wet weather clothing.

David Ford said: “I always welcome the opportunity to visit projects such as this and to meet the young people who are benefitting. This project provides the challenge and enjoyment of a new sporting activity along with the opportunity to learn and develop important life skills.

“Since the beginning of the Asset Recovery Community Scheme some £2million has been distributed to community projects across Northern Ireland. This tranche of funding represents £335,000 which has been taken out of the hands of criminals and returned to the community. It will make a real difference in supporting those who want to do good for the community instead of inflicting harm and fear.”

Other projects benefiting include those promoting cyber safety and road safety and those providing early intervention and diversionary activities for young people. There are also schemes helping to make older people feel safer in their homes. Each has the common aim of making Northern Ireland a safer place for everyone.