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Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner announces fund to help cut young driver deaths

By citizenmike  |  Posted: February 27, 2013

Police and crime commissioner Martin Surl

Police and crime commissioner Martin Surl

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Young drivers will be helped to stay safe on the road after a project which targets road casualty rates was boosted by a £30,000 grant.

Gloucestershire's police and crime commissioner Martin Surl has awarded the Pathfinder Project the sum from his new Commissioner's Fund.

The project aims to reduce the road casualty rate amongst new drivers by teaching up to 100 students from Gloucestershire families the principles of safe driving.

Mr Surl said: "Statistics show that more than a quarter of 17-19 year olds, most of them young men, crash within a year of passing their driving test.

"Nearly 1 in 3 of those killed or seriously injured on our roads is under the age of 25.

"That would suggest that the way most young people learn to drive fails to provide them with the skills they need to survive the most dangerous year of their lives. The Pathfinder Project is designed to address that problem".

It is the first project that Mr Surl has backed with the special fund.

Other organisations can apply to the fund.

The Commissioner's Fund supports a broad range of projects and activities. Grants will vary based upon the nature of each application and will offset funding which has been cut by the Home Office.

Mr Surl said: "A Commissioner's Fund for community safety initiatives was one of the promises I made during my election. Safe driving and helping young people become adults are two of the priorities embedded in the Police and Crime Plan which is the blueprint for my three and half years in office.

"I want to build a safer, healthier, more just and inclusive Gloucestershire with a better quality of life for all. The fund will achieve this by supporting local ideas that will enhance community safety and reduce crime and disorder.

"It will encourage co-operation with partners and communities and aims to bring sustainable benefits to communities".

Organisations are being invited to bid for a share of the fund to develop crime reduction and neighbourhood safety within their own communities.

The only stipulation is that proposals must meet at least one of the PCC's five key priorities. Applications will be considered on a competitive basis.

Not all applications will be successful.

Projects seeking support will be assessed against criteria referred to in the application form and compared to each other in terms of benefits and value for money. Help and advice will be available to guide applicants through the process.

Mr Surl will have the final say in where grants are awarded.

The fund is open to a wide range of applicants. Public sector, voluntary sector and community groups can apply, though community groups will need to have a basic constitution and a bank account.

For an application form contact Richard Bradley, commissioning development manager, at richard.bradley@gloucestershire.pnn.police.uk.

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