A NEW fund has been launched to support community projects and activities that help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour across Avon and Somerset.

The Commissioner's Crime Prevention Fund was created in a partnership between Avon and Somerset police and crime commissioner Mark Shelford, the Somerset Community Foundation (SCF), and the Quartet Community Foundation (QCF).

The SCF is a charity that funds local causes "to build stronger communities in Somerset where everyone has the opportunity to thrive".

The QCF distributes around 1,000 grants every year to voluntary and community groups across the West of England. 

Community groups and charities can now apply for grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 from the Commissioner's Crime Prevention Fund to help create safer communities in the region. 

A total of £200,000 is available from the fund, of which around £60,000 will be allocated to Somerset. 

Somerset County Gazette: The SCF is based in Shepton Mallet. Picture: Somerset Community FoundationThe SCF is based in Shepton Mallet. Picture: Somerset Community Foundation

Police and crime commissioner Mark Shelford said: “I am delighted that my office, SCF and QCF have set up this important Crime Prevention Fund to help create safer communities.

“Local residents know their neighbourhoods better than anyone and we want to help communities prevent crime in their area.

“We want to support a real range of projects that help prevent crime as outlined in my Police and Crime Plan.

“So, if you, your neighbours, or your community have ideas, initiatives or projects that does just this, please apply for a grant so local people can benefit from reduced crime. I look forward to supporting and visiting these projects.”

Justin Sargent, Somerset Community Foundation chief executive, added: “We’re delighted to be working alongside our neighbours at Quartet Community Foundation and our partners at the OPCC.

“The money from the Commissioner's Crime Prevention Fund will be targeted at supporting work that helps prevent, and reduces the impact of, crime in our communities.

“We want to fund a wide range of community-led projects including creating safer streets and green spaces, raising awareness among young people, and the promotion of restorative justice.”

There will be three opportunities for community groups and charities to apply for a grant from the Commissioner's Crime Prevention Fund. 

They can apply by visiting www.somersetcf.org.uk/opcc or by calling 01749 344949 before the deadline of Friday, May 27.