Crime bosses offering thousands to help groups supporting the vulnerable during lockdown

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coronavirus funds
Hampshire and Dorset PCCs, Michael Lane (top) and Martyn Underhill

COUNTY crime chiefs are offering thousands of pounds in support to help communities in Hampshire and Dorset get through the coronavirus crisis.

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The funding pots from Hampshire and Dorset’s police and crime commissioners are open to services which help protect victims and support those vulnerable to crime, and those which work with offenders to reduce demand on hard-pressed providers.

Hampshire’s PCC, Michael Lane, has set up a £500,000 Covid-19 Response Fund to help tackle issues directly linked to the pandemic, including domestic abuse, missing children, hate crime, cyber-crime and the vulnerability of older people and exploitation of youngsters.

Mr Lane said: “We are living in a challenging and dynamically changing time and I am committed to doing all I can to support those delivering vital services to protect people from harm, support victims and reduce offending.”

He added: “It is especially important to act quickly to enable services to continue and be effective in these circumstances.”

This pot is part of a funding package put together by Mr Lane, complementing his Covid-19 Keeping Communities Safer Fund. In April this fund, which has a £25,000 limit, awarded more than 40 small grants for local projects.

In Dorset, PCC Martyn Underhill is inviting charities affected by the pandemic to apply for up to £5,000 from the Safer Dorset Fund Covid-19 Grant.

The fund is aimed at helping them continue existing services or launch new projects to help locals during the lockdown or afterwards when restrictions are relaxed.

Mr Underhill said: “Sadly, while Covid-19 is likely to create a surge in demand for the types of services provided by many charities, it has also left them incapable of doing their normal fundraising activities, so I hope this grant scheme will provide a necessary lifeline for many groups.”

Applications are sought from registered charities that are struggling financially due to the crisis, looking to run a project to meet an issue arising from it, or are planning to run a project to deal with the fall-out afterwards.

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