Date20 September 2022
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Andy Dunbobbin, visited Capel Curig on September 17 to join Conwy District Scouts at its local camp. While in the beautiful location next to the Moel Siabod café, he met the Group Leaders and local Scouts, learnt more about their activities and saw how money taken from criminals has helped them buy a much-needed minibus to help them in their work.
Earlier this year, Conwy District Scouts received £2,500 from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Your Community, Your Choice fund to help purchase a new district minibus, which Conwy Scouts feel is essential in providing activities at low or no cost for local children.
The Your Community, Your Choice initiative, also supported by the North Wales Police and Community Trust (PACT) and North Wales Police, is in its ninth year. During this time, more than £400,000 has been handed out to deserving causes and much of it has been recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act, using money seized from offenders, with the rest coming from the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The price of hiring vehicles has increased dramatically over the last two years. This means that purchasing a dedicated vehicle for the district is even more important to enable Conwy Scouts to provide their vital activities for young people, such as kayaking, canoeing, paddle-boarding, climbing, and mine exploration. Now, instead of paying for transport, the small charges that the Scouts make for activities can go towards making their provision sustainable and to providing funds to replace old equipment.
The Conwy District has nine Scout Groups across Aberconwy, Abergele Betws y Coed, Colwyn Heights, Conwy, Llandudno, Llanfairfechan, Old Colwyn, and Rhos-on-Sea, and all came together for this special day in Snowdonia.
During the visit Andy Dunbobbin and PACT Chair Ashley Rogers met the Scout Leaders, the young Scouts themselves, and learnt how they have benefited from the provision of the vehicle. They also experienced re-enactments of mediaeval combat and metalworking by the Black Crow Vikings and Royal Oak Forge in Betws-y-Coed, as well as den-building and orienteering activities by the Scouts.
Andy Dunbobbin, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, commented: “It was fantastic to visit Capel Curig and to see the hard work of Conwy District Scouts in providing activities for local young people. These activities, and the values of Scouting, build confidence and respect from an early age and promote positive relationships with the community. With the funding from the Your Community, Your Choice fund for their new minibus, we’re able to widen access and help young people get out in the Great Outdoors who might not otherwise have the chance. A core part of my Police and Crime Plan is supporting communities, and this visit was a great example of my values in action. It also shows how money from criminals can be used to do good in society.”
Rob Rands, District Commissioner, Conwy Scouts, said: “The focus of our work over the last few years has been in providing adventurous activities within the fantastic landscape around us in North Wales. One of the key blockers to being able to do so has been the cost of transport, which pushes the responsibility onto parents either to pay high costs or to transport themselves. Many are then excluded due to the circumstances of the family. Our aim is to be an inclusive organization that provide an exciting life changing programme of memorable activities to all, regardless of social standing.
“Through this new minibus, we can now provide these activities to our children at no cost, as well as develop young people from Conwy to become future volunteers. We are grateful to Your Community, Your Choice fund for helping us reach our goal in getting on the road.”
North Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable Chris Allsop said: “Part of the funding for the Your Community, Your Choice projectcomes from the proceeds of crime and it’s right that money is taken out of the pockets of criminals and put back into community organisations like Conwy District Scouts.
“This helps turn bad money into good and makes a real difference because it is local people who recognise and understand their local issues and how to solve them. Policing is part of the community, and the community is part of policing, and schemes like Your Community, Your Choice are a positive way of building trust in policing.”
PACT Chair Ashley Rogers commented: “These funding awards are important because they support community projects right across North Wales and it’s the communities themselves that decide where the money can best be spent. A lot of what we fund is aimed at providing something for young people to get involved with in their spare time, activities that can help to build skills and positive physical and mental health and Conwy District Scouts is a great example of this.”
For more information on the work of the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner go to https://www.northwales-pcc.gov.uk/en/home.aspx and for more on the North Wales Police and Community Trust go to https://www.pactnorthwales.co.uk/