Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald this week visited Zetland Amateur Boxing Club to see for himself the benefits of the CashBack for Communities scheme, the Scottish Government’s programme which uses the ill-gotten gains of crime, recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and invests them back into communities across Scotland.
Angus MacDonald said:
“Organised crime brings misery to individuals and communities. It is only right that bad cash confiscated from criminals is put to good use improving lives, increasing chances for young people and keeping kids out of trouble.
“I’m delighted to see Zetland Amateur Boxing Club benefitting from this scheme. CashBack for Communities Programme has resulted in more than £45 million of crooks’ cash going towards getting bored kids off the streets and into positive activities, offering them the chance to be all they can be and give something back to their communities.
“Our CashBack programmes improve self-confidence and self-esteem for our young people, while supporting and turning around communities worst hit by crime and anti-social behaviour through an ever growing series of sports and cultural diversionary activities.”
Mr MacDonald’s visit follows the publication of the annual report of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) which has set out the key victories that have been won in the fight against organised crime in the last year.
Organised criminal gangs were successfully disrupted on 109 occasions last year, with 75 of Scotland’s most dangerous criminals arrested. In total, SCDEA investigations led to 194 arrests, resulting in combined prison sentences of 170 years.
A substantial 782 kilogrammes of illegal drugs were seized last year, worth an estimated £18.45 million.
Welcoming the report Falkirk East SNP MSP Angus MacDonald said:
“People in too many communities across Scotland have suffered from the scourge of organised gangs. They make life miserable in too many areas, so the successes of the police in fighting their vile activities are victories for ordinary people.
“The SCDEA has made fantastic inroads in fighting these criminal gangs and fully deserve to be congratulated on their efforts.
“Many of these criminals’ ill-gotten gains have been seized and will be used to repair some of the damage done to the communities that have suffered from their actions, thanks to the SNP Government’s Cashback for Communities scheme.
“That is the right thing to do and has already helped to fund many important projects within Falkirk district.”
The Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme uses the ill-gotten gains of crime, recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and invests them back into communities across Scotland.
Projects range from diversionary sporting and cultural activities, community based projects through to longer-term intervention projects, which aim to turn an individual’s life around and provide them the opportunity of a positive destination such as employment, education, or volunteering.
Money is provided to support a wide range of sporting, cultural, educational and mentoring activities for younger children and young people aged 10-19 years.
Since its launch in 2007, over £45 million has been invested in this way, allowing some 600,000 young Scots to participate in a wide range of positive activities in their communities.