Twelve young people from schools in the Hambleton area have been on a challenging five-day outdoor activity course thanks to local criminals.
The Year 9 pupils, aged between 13 and 14, took part in the Inspire and Achieve 2012 project at Carlton Lodge Outdoor Centre near Thirsk after the charity, North Yorkshire Youth Ltd, successfully bid for cash under North Yorkshire Police’s Why should they? campaign.
The charity received £2,853.88 from the £25,000 pot of cash seized from criminals by the North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation Unit.
North Yorkshire Youth is the modern face of a charity which dates back to 1940 and encompasses a Youth Development Team and Carlton Lodge Outdoor Centre in Carlton Miniott near Thirsk.
The cash has gone towards the cost of providing activities for 12 young people at Carlton Lodge, a subsidised mini-bus and driver, buoyancy aids and logbooks.
Through positive intervention using challenging outdoor activities, the project aims to develop each young person’s potential, giving them a sense of self-belief, confidence, responsibility and independence and helps to get them on track for a positive future.
Nick Lewis, deputy head of Hambleton and Richmondshire Pupil Referral Service, said: “We were delighted when we found out that our bid had been successful. The money has enabled us to start the course locally with a view to expanding it across the whole of North Yorkshire.
“We have had a brilliant start to the course with the pupils taking part in physical activities and workshops which will help build their team working and problem solving skills, as well as being fun and exciting.”
North Yorkshire Police’s Chief Superintendent Colin Taylor presented the cheque to representatives from Carlton Lodge Outdoor Centre and North Yorkshire Youth Ltd.
Chief Supt Taylor said: “It gives us great pleasure to be able to hand over criminals’ money for the benefit of positive projects which help the wider community.
“Our officers work very hard to confiscate the cash and it’s great to see it going to good causes such as the Inspire and Achieve 2012 project.”
The course will run on one day a week for five weeks, it began on Tuesday February 28.
North Yorkshire Police are also providing an input into the course with two Police Community Support Officers providing workshops on internet safety, weapons and knife crime, anti-social behaviour and its consequences, road safety, social responsibility and the consequences of drugs misuse.
The Why should they? campaign is designed to support the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), a piece of legislation which allows the police to take illegally earned money off criminals. During the last financial year (2010 – 2011) North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation Unit seized £1,339,479.32 from criminals under POCA.
The team made their largest single seizure so far in January this year when they seized £800,000 from Dennis and Bianca McGinley who threatened their victims into parting with more than £1.8m.