Last week, two groups, who had been given a substantial donation from West Yorkshire Police’s Safer Communities Fund, were featured in the Asian Express, and now more money has been seized for the county’s growing fund.
Almost £120,000 in cash was found at the home and business premises of a Halifax businessman who has been forced to hand over the huge sum to the courts.
Officers investigating the accounts of Mohammed Reza Shahsavar, 40, discovered £117,000 in cash during a money laundering investigation.
Shahsavar had told police the cash was partly business loans and an overdraft from his business account, but it was later seized as part of the Proceeds of Crime Act.
This means that, on top of the already growing pot, an extra £58,500 will be added to the police Commissioner’s Safer Communities Fund which helps charity’s and community groups across the county through monetary donations.
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson said this case once again highlighted the potentially huge sums which can be seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
“Currently half of the money recovered from criminal activity in West Yorkshire goes back to Government; decisions on such allocations should be agreed locally at a time of huge government budget cuts,” he said.
“I want to see all that money returned to the county and into initiatives or resources that will benefit our communities.
“I recently launched the Safer Communities Fund which allows local groups and organisations to bid into a single pot of money.
“I want to make more cash available to this fund and I would encourage people to sign my online petition http://action. westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/giveus backallthemoney and Tweet to back the campaign by using the hashtag #giveusthemoney.”
At the start of May, 45 community groups were celebrating after being issued with cheques combining to a total of £218,000, with the majoriy of funding coming through the Safer Communities Fund.