Whitby Musicport wins criminals’ cash

WHITBY Musicport has won nearly £2,000 of criminals’ cash, seized by North Yorkshire Police, as part of a campaign to give the money back to the community.

North Yorkshire Police have launched the 2011 Why Should They? campaign by giving £25,000 to organisations who help to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour.

Whitby Musicport has been given £1,960 towards its latest project – a performance group with participants from local schools, youth clubs and pupil referral units.

They will also spend the money on drumming and singing workshops.

The organisation provides a positive creative outlet for young people aged between eight and 18.

It can help them increase their confidence, discipline and well being.

Established in 2000, Whitby Musicport is a non-profit making organisation which provides live music and music education in the Yorkshire Coast and Esk Valley.

It is open to anyone and everyone but is committed to providing help and opportunities for those who might otherwise get into anti-social behaviour.

Sue McLaughlin, Project Manager at Musicport, said: “It is particularly difficult to raise money from public funding especially in the arts sector and in today’s day and age.

“So we are delighted to get the money. It was a nice opportunity that wasn’t expected.”

The money awarded has been seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act by North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation Unit.

The Act allows police to take money from criminals which they have gained through criminal activity.

Detective Inspector Ian Wills, head of the unit, said: “We are extremely impressed at the extent of the fantastic work going on in our communities to improve life for local people.

“The winners have every right to be extremely proud of their work and the contribution they make to keep our communities safe. Each group deserve every penny, our only regret is that we cannot give them more.”

Thirteen other charities and groups in North Yorkshire and York have also been awarded money, including the 1st Robin Hood’s Bay Scouts and the Scarborough and Ryedale Crucial Crew.

The Scouts have been given £190.49 for a new portable heater to heat their hall.

The Crucial Crew, who have provided primary school children with life skills for 19 years, have won £1,500.

They help children learn the consequences of crime and anti-social behaviour and how to deal with emergency situations.

The money will go to their Prison? No Way project to help them stage realistic situations.

Last year, the police took £1.3m off North Yorkshire criminals. People can help the campaign by reporting anyone they suspect of living off illegal earnings. Call North Yorkshire Police on 101 .