The CashBack for Communities programme takes the ill-gotten gains of crime, recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and invests them into community programmes, facilities and activities largely, but not exclusively, for young people at risk of turning to crime and anti-social behaviour as a way of life.
Due to the unique way in which CashBack is funded, it is inherently difficult to forecast when new monies will become available. There is no Government budget for CashBack and the Programme relies on the excellent work of the Scottish Courts Service, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal’s Service and all the other agencies involved in enforcing the law, to fully recover the ill-gotten gains of criminals in order that CashBack can invest them back into communities.
Projects range from diversionary work to more long-term potentially life-changing intervention projects, which aim to turn an individual’s life around and provide them the opportunity of a positive destination such as employment, education, or volunteering. The Programme includes a number of partnerships with Scottish sporting, arts, business, community and youth associations. CashBack also provides much needed funding to sports and community facilities for essential refurbishment and renovation.
The key principles that underpin all CashBack activities include:
- Positive – broadly defined as wholesome, healthy, fun, active, engaging
- Open to all – accessible, well advertised, free of charge, of interest to all ages and to both boys and girls, ethnic minorities, young people with disabilities etc
- Developmental – changing behaviours and attitudes, developing personal and physical skills
- Sustainable – providing medium and long term as well as short term benefits; linked to mainstream funding
Since the inception of the Cashback for Communities programme in 2007, over £74 million recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act has been invested or committed to a wide range of sporting, cultural, educational and mentoring activities for children and young people throughout Scotland. The programme has funded 1.2 million activities and opportunities for young people.
This investment includes £24 million on sporting activities and facilities projects; £10 million on grant schemes that support youth work projects across all 32 local authority areas; over £3.5 million on cultural activities involving arts, music and dance.