A crime-fighting group has bought a network of portable CCTV cameras to protect communities across Flintshire – using money seized from villains.
The money given to the Flintshire and Wrexham Online Watch Link Association (OWL) came from a fund set up by North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones.
The £2,500 grant was particularly timely because the group is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
The Your Community, Your Choice initiative is funded with cash confiscated from the area’s crooks and distributed by the police and crime commissioner, North Wales Police and the North Wales Police and Community Trust (PACT).
Much of the money was recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act, with the rest coming from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s own funds.
It is one of 15 grants totalling over £40,000 given to support crime-fighting schemes by community organisations with an online vote deciding the successful applicants and almost 10,000 votes cast.
OWL’s chief officer, Denise Edwards, revealed that part of the grant was used to buy a network of 10 portable CCTV cameras.
Denise said: “Starting April it’s our 30 year celebration, and we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved because he association is about grassroots it’s about serving the people and their neighbourhoods.
“The funding we have received from the proceeds of crime is about the criminals’ pain being turned into the community’s gain in Flintshire.
“The £2,500 has enabled us to achieve so much on behalf of the residents and we have tried to make it spread as far as we can by working with other agencies in a true community partnership.
“We’ve worked with probation on community payback projects, provided new street signage and crime prevention resource packs as well as developing new neighbourhood watch schemes.
According to the association’s long-standing president, Lord Barry Jones, the former MP for Alyn and Deeside, the grant was the perfect anniversary present.
He said: “I have been president now for many years and I’ve seen this wonderful organisation grow in its impact and its extent across Wrexham and Flintshire, and the whole aim is to make life better for ordinary people in their homes.”
Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Richard Debicki said: “OWL is a fantastic organisation that really serves the community well and we work really closely within North Wales Police with OWL.
“What they do is seek to harness the power of the community, because largely it’s led by volunteers and it’s people that really understand the issues of a local area and are really able to contribute something positive to them.
“I’m really pleased that some of the proceeds of crime funding has been pointed towards OWL because being right in the heart of the community they are able to spend that money well and effectively on behalf of the community.”