By Michael Slavin and Paige Lockwell
The Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner has unveiled a new scheme intended to fight poverty by committing cash seized from criminals to community causes.
Kim McGuinness announced that to kick-start the scheme, £130,000 of cash would be award to a range of causes across Northumbria. These include the “New Beginnings” scheme in Sunderland, “Sports for Youth” in Newcastle, and the “Primrose Park Alliance” in South Tyneside.
Figures provided by Civitias, the Institute for the Study of Civil Society, state that three and a half times as many criminals live in the 20% most deprived areas of the UK when directly compared to the 20% least deprived areas.
The scheme is a recognition therefore on perceived links between the two, and an attempt to try use one to try and fix the other.
At the launch of the event, Ms McGuinness said: “We need to look at crime through a different lens. We need to see the wider picture… while criminals are likely to come from poorer backgrounds, this is not to say people who are poor are likely to be criminals. It does, however, make you more likely to be a victim of crime.”
The scheme has been backed by the Labour Party. Shadow Secretary for Education Bridget Phillipson said: “Education is how we secure the best life for every one of us.
“But too many of our children grow up in poverty, too many kids don’t get the support they need at school, and too often that means storing up problems for adult life.”
Conservative councilors did not respond when contacted by Quays News for comment.