A FUNDING boost has been given to organisations helping to reduce crime across the county.

Hampshire and the Isle of Wight’s police and crime commissioner Michael Lane has awarded 32 grants totalling £334,774 in his most recent round of grants as part of his Safer Communities Fund.

The fund aims to support community organisations working to prevent offending, support victims and keep Hampshire and the Isle of Wight safer.

Among the approved applications were a number of organisations operating in Basingstoke and Deane. The Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (RASAC), a male-only service offering peer support groups and specialist one-to-one counselling for victims of sexual abuse, received £9,500.

Circles South East, which provides trained volunteers to support sex offenders recently released from prison to safely reintegrate back into society, received the maximum grant of £15,000.

These latest grants bring the total invested by the commissioner, through his safer community grants, to £1,700,739 for this financial year.

Mr Lane said, “These vital services provide a lifeline for the people they work with and additionally support frontline policing by helping prevent people from taking the wrong path or being increasingly vulnerable. This reduces demand on our hard-pressed police officers”.

Other Hampshire-wide services that received funding include Solent Mind, a peer-led support initiative for victims of crime with mental health difficulties, and Blue Apple Theatre, a newly developed play and workshop based on real hate-crime testimonies and case studies that will be toured around schools. These organisations received £15,000 and £11,850 respectively.