More than £45,000 seized during police investigations donated to five Northamptonshire charities

Crown Court judges have the power under the Misuse of Drugs Act to order seized money to be redirected to charity
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Five charities across Northamptonshire have received a financial boost thanks to an initiative at Northampton Crown Court that donates money seized during police investigations.

Since 2021, Northampton Crown Court has donated more than £45,000 to five charities in the county, using money that has been seized by Northamptonshire Police during investigations into criminal activities.

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At the conclusion of the court sentencing hearing, the presiding judge has the power to make a forfeiture application under Section 27 of the Misuse of Drugs Act, for seized money to be redirected to charity.

Northampton Crown Court judges adopted the scheme after it was successful in Aylesbury Crown Court.Northampton Crown Court judges adopted the scheme after it was successful in Aylesbury Crown Court.
Northampton Crown Court judges adopted the scheme after it was successful in Aylesbury Crown Court.

The idea was adopted by the county’s four full-time crown court judges following the success of the project at Aylesbury Crown Court, which has donated more than £100,000 to Guide Dogs UK.

His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo, who is also a Deputy Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, said: “We see daily in our courtrooms the detrimental effect drugs can have on our communities. However, forfeiture applications enable us to redirect some of the ill-gotten gains from drug offending to help support the most vulnerable members of our society.

“We also get to hear of all the good work being carried out across the county by various charities and organisations. From the feedback we have received from those who have received diverted funds, we know that £10,000 can go a long way to help.”

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In Northamptonshire, the scheme aims to provide a donation of at least £10,000 to nominated charities, which have so far included Home Start in Daventry, The Good Loaf in Northampton, Service Six and the Daylight Centre, both in Wellingborough.

Child Bereavement UK is the latest charity to be supported by the judges.

The Good Loaf is a social enterprise which was set up in Northampton to provide employment opportunities to vulnerable women and break the cycle of poverty, unemployment, and offending.

Chief executive Suzy Van Rooyen explains how the crown court fund has been especially appreciated in this economic climate when things have been so difficult for everyone.

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She said: “The donation has enabled us to provide practical support to women in our community so they can believe in themselves and realise a brighter tomorrow.”

The Daylight Centre Fellowship in Wellingborough is a registered charity which prepares adults impacted by homelessness, poverty, and social exclusion for healthier, happier, independent, and purposeful futures.

Chief executive Carina Fisher said: “Daily we are dealing with the causes and effects of crime and the demand for our services is greater than ever. It is so fitting that the money is being put to good use, in complete contrast to its original harmful intentions."

Service Six is an award-winning Wellingborough-based charity, committed to changing lives and creating futures for vulnerable children, young people, and their families.

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Chief executive Claudia Slabon MA ILM explains how the crown court initiative has helped the charity. She said: “This charity donation scheme is a real opportunity to maximise existing services and make sure that together we are reaching the most vulnerable members of our communities. They are the real winners of this donation.”

The court says it will consider any registered charity that directly benefits the community in Northamptonshire.