£3.2 million taken from criminals spent on activities for youths in North-east

At least £3.2 million has been taken from criminals and spent on young people in the North-east thanks to the success of a Government scheme.

The CashBack for Communities initiative, which is entering its 10th year, was set up to allow authorities to use proceeds of crime to fund activities and projects for young people.

The most up-to-date figures show that, between 2008 and 2016, £1,977,288 was spent on organising a total of 49,549 activities across Aberdeen.

In Aberdeenshire, £1,353,488 was spent on a total of 98,644 activities.

The cash paid for Amateur Boxing Scotland to hold weekly boxing coaching in the Byron Amateur Boxing Club at Northfield Community Centre for two years.

Thirty two youngsters received football coaching at St Machar Academy, learning from Scottish Football Association coaches.

Young people from Torry have taken part in evening basketball coaching sessions organised by Scottish Sports Futures.

And funding paid for a full-time rugby coach to train children at schools across the city.

In Aberdeenshire, funding has enabled basketball clubs such as Fraserburgh Storm and other teams in Alford, Aberchirder, Banchory and Portlethen, to coach children and young people.

Meanwhile, Deeside Rugby Football Club was given £10,000 to help it install floodlights so youngsters can have coaching in winter.

Sottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson, pictured, said: “Now in its 10th year, CashBack is a unique programme because effectively it takes the money off the crooks and puts it back into local comm-unities.”

He added: “Over the lifetime of CashBack, we will be investing some £92m across Scotland’s 32 local authorities helping to support young people whether it be in sports projects, community arts- based projects or youth projects, making sure the money we get from these criminals is reinvested in the communities that, very often, are the most affected by criminal activities.”