Operation Payback, where Police Commissioner Kim McGuinness uses the cash criminals have taken from local communities and distributes it among grass root projects is back – and community groups are being encouraged to get their bids in now.

This time, more than £150,000 is up for grabs and Kim is keen to hear from local youth clubs and community groups that have ideas that would benefit their local neighbourhood.

She is particularly keen to hear from those looking for cash to help fund ideas that would help curb summer anti-social behaviour across the region.

The aim of Operation Payback is to support the work of Northumbria Police and help prevent crime and anti-social behaviour, which will in turn improve lives for local people.

PCC Kim McGuinness wants to see positive activities such as sports tournaments, dance classes and DJ-ing workshops fill the summer holidays, especially for those less fortunate in the North-East and is very open to fresh ideas.

She hopes to get a range of bids in that will cover all six local authority areas (Northumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Gateshead).

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “Payback is about getting money back into the right hands. From families to youth clubs – everyone is struggling right now and there are consequences.

“There’s no better use for cash seized from crime than channeling it right back into communities to help prevent more crime. With the school holidays around the corner I want to help make sure there’s stuff for kids to do, places they can go.

“I’ve spoken to mams and dads who are pretty worried. They can’t afford to do the stuff they want to do – the holidays the trips out, not to mention the basics like putting all the extra meals on the table. Some parents are working hard themselves over the holidays just to make ends meet and just can’t keep their eye on the kids.

“So I want us to use Payback to find ways to help. We’ve had people get in touch about things like running evening pizza clubs to help keep kids fed and cut ASB on the streets – things like this are a win all round. It helps improve the quality of life for everyone in our communities and reduces the number of victims.

“People tell me they feel intimidated by groups of youths gathering at the Metro or vandalising their local park. I want to give kids a far more attractive way to spend their time, exploring their talents – boxing, dance, football, music – you tell me. This really is a great opportunity to get that funding right where it’s needed most.”

Examples of previously successful bids to Operation Payback include:
Sunderland District Youth Amateur Boxing Club – a new boxing ring to provide diversionary activities.
NewcastleNorth East Dance – dance and theatre as diversionary activities for young people
GatesheadChopwell Community Association – range of diversionary activities
South TynesideEscape Intervention Services – programme of activities to divert young people from ASB
Northumberland Amble Links FC – money to help fund training sessions
North TynesideVenture Zero North East – money to help support local community events


Applications close on Sunday 19th June 2022.

For further information on how to apply visit HERE.