Sometimes people ask me: “what has fighting poverty got to do with fighting crime?"
The truth is, if you live in a deprived area, you are more likely to be a victim of crime. If you
are a victim of crime and on a low income, then the cost of rebuilding is greater. And if you
are trapped in poverty, you know it will be your kids, not those from better off families,
being targeted by gangs and dealers.
That's why I have relaunched Operation Payback to ensure local organisations fighting poverty and inequality have the support they need.
Payback is about getting money back into the right hands. From families to youth clubs – everyone is struggling right now and there are consequences.
There’s no better use for cash seized from crime than channeling it right back into communities to help prevent more crime. With the school holidays around the corner I want to help make sure there’s stuff for kids to do, places they can go.
I’ve spoken to mams and dads who are pretty worried. They can’t afford to do the stuff they want to do – the holidays the trips out, not to mention the basics like putting all the extra meals on the table. Some parents are working hard themselves over the holidays just to make ends meet and just can’t keep their eye on the kids.
So I want us to use Payback to find ways to help. We’ve had people get in touch about things like running evening pizza clubs to help keep kids fed and cut ASB on the streets – things like this are a win all round. It helps improve the quality of life for everyone in our communities and reduces the number of victims.
People tell me they feel intimidated by groups of youths gathering at the Metro or vandalising their local park. I want to give kids a far more attractive way to spend their time, exploring their talents – boxing, dance, football, music – you tell me. This really is a great opportunity to get that funding right where it’s needed most.
For further information on how to apply visit HERE.