Funding helps to reduce re-offending in Oxfordshire
Funding awarded to an Oxfordshire not-for-profit organisation by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Anthony Stansfeld, and the Chief Constable, Francis Habgood, has helped to reduce re-offending in the county.
Aspire Oxford was given funding of £2500 from the Police Property Act Fund last year and they have since used it to support their ‘Through the Gate’ project. The project focuses on building links with employers and achieving employment for ex-offenders, which creates a sustainable way to break the cycle of re-offending.
During the funding period, Aspire Oxford has successfully engaged with employers in the area to encourage them to open up job opportunities to ex-offenders. They have also provided ex-offenders from Bullingdon and Spring Hill Prisons with ongoing mentoring and guidance to help with their transition back into mainstream society.
The Police Property Act Fund is created from money recovered by the police and the proceeds from the sale of items that cannot be returned to identified owners, including seizures from criminals.
Aspire was one of 40 organisations to receive over £140,000 worth of funding from the Police Property Act Fund last year.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld said: “The Police Property Act Fund is an excellent opportunity to recognise the positive contribution many smaller community and voluntary organisations in the Thames Valley make to improving community safety in their area.
“The work that Aspire Oxford have carried out and the successes that they have achieved highlights the importance of such organisations and the valuable support they provide to the police. I am delighted that we have been able to help Aspire Oxford in their efforts to assist ex-offenders in Oxfordshire.
“As some of the money within the Fund is from seizures from criminals it only seems fitting that the funding should be used to either help those most affected by crime or in this case help to rehabilitate those who have previously offended.”
Chief Constable, Francis Habgood said: “I am really pleased that groups such as Aspire Oxford have benefited from the funding available from the Police Property Act Fund. Having initiatives that help to break the cycle of offending is really important. Getting ex-offenders into employment is one of those key pathways and so the work that Aspire Oxford has done with individuals and employers will, I am sure, make a real difference.”
Chief Executive Officer of Aspire Oxford, Paul Roberts said: "The funds that Aspire Oxford have received from the Police and Crime Commissioner's Police Property Act Fund have been invaluable in helping us to reduce re-offending in Oxfordshire.
“This funding has enabled Aspire to support ex-offenders into and towards employment at a critical stage in their transition and we've produced an employers' handbook that breaks down stigma and helps local companies become more inclusive in their recruitment practices.
“The benefits of this funding for our local community will be immense and we'd like to thank the Police and Crime Commissioner for his generous support."
The Police Property Act Fund is now open for applications. More information including how to apply can be found at the below link: