MONEY taken from convicted criminals is ensuring the future of a centre which aims to reduce crime in the area.
The Hemsworth Partnership, based on Close Street, Hemsworth, has received a £1,000 donation from West Yorkshire Police - money that has come from the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) fund.
The cash is raised when police confiscate and sell assets made illegally by criminals, such as electrical items, cars and even houses.
The centre works with the local neighbourhood policing team to highlight crime and criminals in the area.
Centre secretary Denise Cook, 67, said she is absolutely thrilled to receive the money.
She said: “This money will help keep the centre running as we rely solely on grants. I am just so grateful.”
The centre also offers support and advice for those who are struggling with addictions, including drug and substance abuse.
Mrs Cook said a lot of crime is committed by drug users so this helps to reduce crime in the area.
Chief Supt Pat Casserly, from West Yorkshire Police, visited the partnership on Tuesday to hand over the cash.
He said: “We sometimes think we know it all but we have to get back to basics and listen to local people.
“We want to push criminality down and build community confidence up, and this is what this project is all about.
“It has given the community a lot of confidence to report crime and let our officers know where hotspots are. And because of that we are able to give this money to keep it going.”
The money will be spent on ensuring paid members of staff continue to work at the partnership.
This includes Diane Cartwright – who is only paid for eight hours’ work – but works more than 60 hours a week.
If it had not been for the donation, her job would have ended due to lack of funds.
She runs needle exchanges, liaises with police to visit schools to show the negative effects drugs have on people’s lives and generally maintain the running of the centre.
She said: “I am just so grateful for the money, it means we can carry on helping people in the area.”
The centre formed in 1996 by councillor Glyn Lloyd after the community felt something needed to be done to reduce crime in the town.