My Covid-19 Response Fund sees local charities and groups receive much-needed money

Angus Macpherson

Wednesday 9 September 2020

Earlier this summer, when I realised the significant impact the COVID19 pandemic was going to have on charities and voluntary groups, I launched the PCC Covid-19 Response Fund.

I set aside £50,000 to help the local communities of Wiltshire and Swindon, with the aim of providing financial aid to organisations who would either face increased demand or would struggle with fundraising.

I'm pleased to say that this money has now started reaching some of these groups, with thousands of pounds worth of grants approved to help a variety of different charities.

These have included Young Melksham, which is providing support for teenagers and young people in the town, and the Youth Adventure Trust, which is helping disadvantaged school-age children get ready to return to lessons after so many months at home.

When deciding which grant applications to approve, I have been prioritising the support of groups which help to achieve the main priorities of my Police and Crime Plan, namely preventing crime and keeping people safe, protecting the most vulnerable people in society and putting victims, witnesses and communities at the heart of everything I do.

It is fantastic to see that this money is already making a hugely positive difference to those most at need and I look forward to hearing more about the long-term benefits of this extra support.

Meanwhile, officers across Wiltshire Police have also been focusing their efforts on another topic which I have been prioritising - improving the safety of the county's roads.

They held two weeks of action focusing on drink and drug driving, using intelligence and information from the public to target suspected offenders.

On the one hand it was incredibly disappointing to learn that they had dealt with almost 80 motorists, either by way of arrest or report to court, for suspected drink or drug driving.

It seems that there are still an unacceptable number of people out there who either don't understand or don't care about the risks that they pose if they get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol or taking drugs.

However, on a more positive note, it is good news that these motorists were apprehended - potentially preventing them from injuring or killing either themselves or other road users.

Please remember, if you have information about a suspected drink or drug driver then you can report this to us by calling 101 or 999.