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Report 7 of the 23 June 2011 meeting of the Finance and Resources Committee, is on the Safer London Foundation provides a brief overview including funding history and identifies an option for 2011/12 funding support.

Warning: This is archived material and may be out of date. The Metropolitan Police Authority has been replaced by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC).

See the MOPC website for further information.

Safer London Foundation

Report: 7
Date: 23 June 2011
By: Director of Resources on behalf of the Commissioner and the Treasurer


This report on the Safer London Foundation provides a brief overview including funding history and identifies an option for 2011/12 funding support.

A. Recommendations

That members

  1. to approve one-off funding for 2011/12 of £0.5m to the Safer London Foundation from the Police Property Act Fund subject to (a) that the SLF include in their 2011/12 annual report how the funding was spent and (b) Communities Equalities and People Committee (CEP) being content on how the £0.5m grant in 2010/11 was spent.

B. Supporting information

1. The Safer London Foundation (SLF) was launched in June 2005 to support the Safer Neighbourhoods programme in making London a safer place. The SLF works towards this goal by supporting crime prevention/reduction projects with grant funding, working with volunteers from the community and the corporate sector and delivering the Aspire mentoring programme supporting ex-offenders into work.

2. An annual donation of £0.5m to the SLF was agreed by the MPA to cover the five financial years 2006/07 to 2010/11. This funding came from Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) seizures and confiscation orders resulting from MPS activity. The SLF received funding for the 5 year period for the disbursement of POCA funds to community groups and initiatives. The SLF was required to provide an auditable process for the disbursement of funds including a recognised governance structure, thereby avoiding the need for the MPA/MPS to put in place its own administrative processes. Funding to the SLF from the PPAF should be allocated for the same purposes as the previous POCA funding, with a percentage top sliced to meet the SLF administration costs.

3. The SLF has awarded over £2.2m in grants to more than 120 crime reduction projects across London. The grants awarded by the SLF address a specific concern, such as weapon enabled crime or hate crime and are made to regulated, not for profit organisations which can demonstrate links with their local Safer Neighbourhoods Teams. MPA officers monitor SLF’s performance in respect of the £0.5m annual grant with the Communities Equalities and People Committee receiving an annual report on SLF activity. The review of 2010/11 is to be considered at the July 2011 meeting.

4. In addition to the POCA funding the MPA also agreed total funding of £0.511m from the Police Property Act Fund (PPAF). This amount was released to the SLF during the three financial years 2006/07 to 2008/09 having demonstrated to the MPA that their initiatives were effectively working at Safer Neighbourhood level. The PPAF funding was to cover the SLF core costs, so that all other money raised by the SLF could be directed to fund or provide support for community projects. In addition to POCA and PPAF funding there was also one off funding of £0.4m made by Territorial Policing.

5. The current POCA arrangement is under review with continuing uncertainty about the level of available funding. The Payback Programme Board recommends that any donations are made retrospectively and long term future commitments are not made due to the uncertainty surrounding POCA arrangements going forward. Therefore now that the five year commitment to provide the SLF with £0.5m per annum has been honoured this avenue of funding is no longer available.

6. SLF have been aware of the withdrawal of funding. However, internal changes within the organisation has meant that SLF have been unable to develop and implement a fund raising strategy to achieve alternative revenue resources. A new Chief Executive has recently been appointed who is now engaged in this work.

7. To replace the level of funding that is no longer available from POCA a possible alternative source for 2011/12 is the PPAF. At the meeting of 24 March 2011 Finance and Resources Committee considered and approved the 2011/12 funding allocation from the PPAF to boroughs of £0.8m. This level of funding was agreed to be sustainable from the PPAF and provides for sufficient reserves and adequate estimated future income to support allocations in future years.

8. The PPAF fund balance at 31 March 2011 was £4.7m. Using estimated income and expenditure streams, based on 2010/11 levels of auction and court ruling receipts into the PPAF, and allowing for the £0.8m 2011/12 grant allocation to boroughs, the balance of the PPAF at 31 March 2012 is estimated to be £5.1m. This estimated increase to the balance of the PPAF indicates that there is scope during 2011/12 for the PPAF to provide a £0.5m donation to the SLF. Members are therefore asked to approve this one off donation for 2011/12, subject to the SLF providing in their 2011/12 annual report details of how the donation was spent.

C. Other organisational and community implications

Equality and Diversity Impact

1. The SLF works with Safer Neighbourhood Teams across London to prevent crime and re offending and to support the victims of crime.

Consideration of MET Forward

2. Grants are awarded to organisations whose work supports people who are or have been victims of crime or vulnerable to crime. Grants are also awarded to improve the quality of life for residents by initiatives which prevent crime or reduce the fear of crime and which divert people, especially young people, away from crime.

Financial Implications

3. Using estimated income and expenditure streams, based on 2010/11 the PPAF fund balance is estimated to increase by £0.4m in 2011/12 indicating that there is scope during 2011/12 for the PPAF to provide a £0.5m donation to the SLF

Legal Implications

4. The MPA Co-ordination and Policing Committee agreed the grant criteria for the PPAF on 6 February 2004 and the administrative arrangements were approved by the Finance Committee on 19 February 2004.

5. The grant criteria stipulate that in addition to supporting specific projects, grants may also be made to support the general activities of an organisation provided the organisation can demonstrate on-going financial viability which is not dependent on MPA funding.

6. Paragraph B5 of the report implies that the SLF may not be financially viable without this donation. This should be ascertained but, on the basis that it is financially viable, the donation can be approved in compliance with relevant law and MPA standing orders.

7. In the event that the SLF is not financially viable, then the MPA can exercise its discretion to disapply this criterion in this case or amend the criteria permanently to allow this discretion. In this way, the MPA could approve the donation in accordance with its own guidance.

8. The grant criteria also state that a grant above £50,000 will only be made in exceptional circumstances. The MPA should record its reasoning why these circumstances apply in this case.

9. As the proposed donation is above the delegated limit of £20,000, the MPA’s Finance and Resources Committee (which has replaced the Coordination and Police Committee) must approve the recommendation to donate £0.5M to the SLF. DLS confirms that it can do so lawfully on the basis of the information in this report and the assumption made at paragraph C6 above.

Environmental Implications

10. There are no environmental issues raised by this report

Risk Implications

11. The recommended donation from the Police Property Act Fund that is identified to fund the Safer London Foundation has been determined having considered the current and estimated financial position of the Fund thereby ensuring that the Fund is able to meet all its obligations.

12. A reduction in funding to SLF of £0.5m would have a significant impact on their ability to carry out the shared objectives with the MPS.

D. Background papers

  • Police Property Act Fund 2011/12 – MPA Finance and Resources Committee Report 24 March 2011

E. Contact details

Report authors: Paul Daly, Director of Exchequer Services, MPS

For more information contact:

MPA general: 020 7202 0202
Media enquiries: 020 7202 0217/18

Supporting material

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