PEOPLE in Dudley and Sandwell have just weeks left to apply for a share of £30,000 that has been made available to community groups to help them tackle crime.

The boroughs still have money unclaimed after Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands – Simon Foster – made £400,000 available this financial year for people across the region.

The cash, which must be claimed by April, has been seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and is being redistributed to good causes by the PCC.

In Dudley there is just over £20,000 still available and in neighbouring Sandwell there’s £10,000 left. There's also £50,000 still available for Birmingham.

The people of the other boroughs, including Solihull, Coventry, Walsall and Wolverhampton, have all used their allocation.

It’s hoped the current underspend can be put to good causes before the end of the financial year.

Community groups can each bid for up to £5,000 of the money if they are running a project designed to cut crime and improve safety.

This money, which changes each year dependent on the amount of seizures, cannot be spent on police officers.

In the past the money has been spent on projects in the Black Country like self-defence classes, online safety and schemes to reduce litter and fly-tipping. While in Birmingham, a first aid course was rolled out to help reduce injuries caused by knife crime.

Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster said: “With just weeks left until the end of the financial year, I’d urge community groups who are trying to tackle problems like anti-social behaviour and security to bid for these funds.

“West Midlands Police work hard to retrieve ill-gotten gains from criminals and this money has been earmarked for community led projects on the ground.

“It’s communities who know best how to spend this money, so I’d urge them to get their applications in as soon as possible.”