Youth club benefits from stolen goods

STOLEN items have been auctioned off by police to help fund improvements to a village youth club.

Teenagers in Great Bardfield are set to benefit to the tune of �500 thanks to the efforts of police officers selling items pocketed by thieves as part of The Property Act Fund for unclaimed belongings.

And the amount will give the club a huge boost, according to chairman Steve Slemmings.

“The youth club is currently well attended and we try to keep the costs to the members as low as possible. Our weekly entrance is only 50p which is half of what many youth clubs charge.

“The problem is, this results in us having very little cash in reserve so a grant of �500 makes a significant difference to us.”

The group will now buy a new microwave, a toasted sandwich maker, fold up tables, footballs, table-tennis bats and balls, snooker cues, craft materials, and an electric pump for inflating balls and some computer games. All thanks to an e-mail from the local police officer PC Peter Carter.

Mr Slemmings added: “We are very grateful to Peter for thinking of us. He has kept close to the club as it has developed and we are very grateful that he thought of us in this instance.

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“It is fulfilling to see something so positive can transpire from a negative situation.”

The youth club, like many around the county, is seen as a good way to keep children and teenagers off the streets and away from falling into criminal habits.

Cash from the fund is directly for charitable organisations that help to prevent crime, divert people from crime, or help to rehabilitate.

In the 2009/2010 financial year Essex Police gave out just over �37,000 as part of the scheme. The fund was established to deal with money and other property which comes into the hands of the police in connection with criminal charges.

After a year, unclaimed property can be sold and the proceeds distributed.

WHAT role to youth clubs play in our current society? E-mail us at or write to us at 54 High Street, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 2BB.