PROCEEDS of crime have raised £890K for communities in West Dunbartonshire since 2008, MSP Gil Paterson can reveal.
It follows the Clydebank MSP questioning the secretary for justice in the Scottish Parliament on the CashBack for Communities programme.
MSP Michael Matheson revealed the figure during justice portfolio questions on April 26, which provided 33,000 individual funding opportunities between 2008 and 2016.
Mr Paterson said: “This is absolutely fantastic news, that our SNP government has delivered so much extra funding directly into communities in West Dunbartonshire from the proceeds of crime. This is an invaluable programme that benefits our young people in a variety of ways, and I fully support it.
"It’s also very important to send the message to criminals that they will not profit for the crimes they commit. We have a highly skilled and motivated police force fighting to take that money back into the community.”
CashBack for Communities is a unique Scottish Government programme which takes money seized from criminals under the proceeds of crime legislation and invests them in our future – our young people.
Since 2008, £92 million has been committed to community initiatives to improve the quality of life of young people right across Scotland.
Mr Matheson said: “The £17 million phase 4 cashback programme started on 1 April this year, and it involves 17 partner organisations delivering for young people throughout the country.
“The phase 4 cashback programme has an even stronger focus on areas of deprivation and disadvantaged young people. The strong focus on disadvantaged young people will contribute towards reaching our aim of tackling inequality by raising their attainment, ambition and aspiration.
“I very much agree with Gil Paterson that cashback gives young people the chance to get creative and broaden their horizons by taking part in a range of different activities and opportunities.
“We are providing opportunities to young people to get involved and improve their confidence and sense of achievement. Investment in our young people and their communities through cashback is money well spent.”