Neighbourhood Watch schemes across Derbyshire are being invited to apply for a share of £5,000 to fund new and innovative approaches to crime prevention.
Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa says he has doubled his Neighbourhood Watch Innovation Fund from £2,500 to £5,000 in 2020-21 in recognition of the "hugely valuable work NHW schemes undertake to reduce the fear of crime and boost public safety".
The funding will be available in two separate rounds concluding in March next year and will help NHW schemes introduce new ideas to promote safety and prevent crime and anti-social behaviour.
Launching the fund, Mr Dhindsa said: "NHW volunteers make a huge difference to our communities and help police become closer and more connected to the neighbourhoods they serve.
"NHW is one of the many important partners working alongside Derbyshire Police to drive criminals from our county and their reassuring presence really does improve quality of life, especially for vulnerable residents who have no other support network.
"Our NHW schemes are worth every penny of investment and I'm delighted to be in a position to double the fund this year to £5,000 in gratitude for the very important work they do."
Lynn Farrar, Chair of the Derbyshire Neighbourhood Watch Association Trust, who will be administering the Fund, said: "We in Derbyshire NHW (DNWAT) are delighted to be able to take the Neighbourhood Innovation Fund into a second year thanks to our Police and Crime Commissioner, Hardyal Dhindsa.
"The PCC has agreed to provide the funds to DNWAT to enable us to award Neighbourhood Watch groups and members that will enable them to carry out projects in the community.
"He has also generously increased the amount to £5,000 which means we can provide up to £300 for each successful applicant. We are asking NW volunteers across Derbyshire to tell us about projects that will facilitate caring and resilience within communities.
"This is a very exciting prospect for us as last year we were able to help dozens of NW schemes benefit in helping to build safer communities. DNWAT can once again provide an opportunity of funding help to those NW volunteers to help their communities. These people give their time freely in the endeavour to keep their neighbourhoods safe and to bring their communities together."
The PCC set up the Neighbourhood Innovation Fund last year and has allocated £2,500 of grants during the past 12 months.
So far, the scheme has funded a new community allotment, dash cams in an area impacted by antisocial driving and NHW dustbin stickers for several schemes to advertise the organisation's presence in the community.
There is also a new website for Derbyshire Neighbourhood Watch www.derbyshireneighbourhoodwatch.co.uk to encourage people to sign up to Derbyshire Alert.
In addition to doubling the fund, the PCC says he is also increasing the cap per proposal from £100 to £300 to enable NHW schemes to submit more comprehensive bids.
The first round of grants will be announced at the next NHW/PCC meeting in November.
To apply, you can email Lynn Farrar for an application form at email@example.com.