Canal gets crime money

The money will go towards a new trip boat to be based at Tapton Lock.
The money will go towards a new trip boat to be based at Tapton Lock.

The Chesterfield Canal will benefit to the tune of £20,850 as a result of a scheme which ploughs criminals’ ill-gotten gain into community projects.

The canal is one of five projects focused on improving the environment to have won grants that inject illegally-generated income back into crime prevention.

The NICE Fund (Neighbourhoods Investing Criminal Earnings) was launched last year to provide funds projects which will leave a lasting legacy for their communities.

Robin Stonebridge, from the Chesterfield Canal Society, said: “The trust is delighted to have been selected to receive support from the PCC’s NICE fund.

“With the support from the commissioner, we will be able to buy a new hull for the trust’s Chesterfield-based trip boat, which we will then fit out and have in service during 2016, enabling thousands of people and organisations to get out and enjoy the beauty of the canal.

“Support for the work we do is very important to us, and without such massive public and organisational support, the Chesterfield Canal would still be a stinking ditch - uncared for, and unloved.”

The trust campaigns for the full restoration of the 46-mile long canal and the development of the Rother Valley link as well as running boat trips to enable members of the public and community groups to enjoy the canal and its surroundings.

This year Derbyshire police and crime commissioner Alan Charles has allocated £131,684 to five organisations.

The funding, distributed in grants of up to £40,000, is a proportion of the income confiscated from criminals in Derbyshire under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

This legislation provides police officers with the powers to seize cash and recover assets that have been bought by criminals through their illegal profits including property, cars and jewellery.

He said: “I’m delighted that we are in a position to reinvest these illegal gains into worthwhile community projects, many of which enhance the local environment and play a valuable role in discouraging offending.

“It is only right that the profits generated by criminal behaviour are reinvested into projects that benefit the general public who are all affected by crime.”