Caernarfon cricketers will be pitch perfect thanks to cash seized from crooks

 Caernarfon Cricket Club batsman Llyr Erddyn takes guard surrounded by, from left, North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin; Dave Evans, of PACT; club chairman Grant Peisley; Gwynedd Councillor and club member Jason Parry; Inspector Arwel Hughes; club treasurer Gwyn Williams; and Sergeant Non Edwards.
Picture by Mandy Jones Photography.
 

An ambitious cricket club is on the lookout for a new heavy roller for its spectacular ground beside the Menai Straits after receiving a grant funded by cash seized from criminals.

Clwb Criced Caernarfon-Caernarfon Cricket Club was only formed in 2015 but they are already making an impact on the game after back-to-back promotions in the North Wales Cricket League.

They will start the new season in April in Division Two after winning the Division Three title last summer but they need a new motorised roller to bring the pitches at their beautiful Aber Foreshore ground up to scratch.

They used to use a hand roller once belonging to the former Fron Dinas cricket club which they rescued from a hedge and restored but their increasing status has meant they needed something more substantial.

They have had a helping hand with a grant of £2,500 from the North Wales Police Commissioner’s Your Community, Your Choice fund and their own busy fund-raising has doubled the money available for the machine.

The initiative, also supported by the North Wales Police Community Trust (PACT) and North Wales Police, is in its ninth year and much of over £400,000 handed out to deserving causes in that time has been recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act, using cash seized from offenders with the rest coming from Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin.

It is the second time the club have been helped out by the fund – they were also awarded £2,500 last year to repair damage caused to their artificial pitch by vandals who lit a fire on it.

That has been repaired but the turf wicket they must play league matches on in the higher divisions needs the use of a heavy roller to bring it up to scratch for the volunteer-run club.

Once again the club were encouraged by their local Neighbourhood Policing Team to apply to the Your Community Your Choice Fund which invites people to vote for the most deserving causes in each of the six North Wales counties.

Club treasurer and founder member Gwyn Williams said: “We applied for the funding with the help of the local police and we’ve scraped in by the narrowest of margins so we’re very grateful for the fantastic support we have had again from local people.

“We managed to hire a roller last season but it was costing us £120 a week and we couldn’t carry on doing that so now we’ve raised funds as well we are looking for a suitable ride-on roller for about £5,000.

“We have been putting the feelers out so if anyone knows of a machine that might be of use to us we’d love to hear from them.”

An aerial view of Caernarfon CC’s beautiful ground

Police and Crime Commissioner Dunbobbin said: “This is a brilliant setting they have for cricket here at Caernarfon and I’m delighted we have been able to help the club out again.

“It’s important to provide an opportunity for young people to be involved in activities like cricket and if we can provide facilities in our local communities that can divert them away from getting into trouble then that has to be a positive.”

Andy Dunbobbin added: “I am delighted that my Your Community Your Choice fund continues to support community projects across North Wales.

“This unique fund is demonstration of people power in action because it allows our communities to decide which projects should get financial support through our on-line voting system.

“There is an element of poetic justice in using money obtained through crime to address the problem of crime in our communities.

“It’s turning bad money into good and it’s making a real difference because it is local people who recognise and understand their local issues and how to solve them.

“This is a really positive aspect of the scheme and it helps bring us closer to those communities.”

Assistant Chief Constable Chris Allsop said: “I get particular satisfaction that part of the funding comes from the proceeds of crime, so that money is taken out of the pockets of criminals and their ill-gotten gains by the courts and is put back into community initiatives.

“It’s turning bad money into good and it’s making a real difference because it is local people who recognise and understand their local issues and how to solve them.

“Policing is part of the community and the community is part of policing and this scheme is a positive way of building trust in policing.

“It’s great to see those relationships flourish because without the community we won’t know what’s going on, without the community we won’t get vital intelligence, and we won’t solve crimes.”

PACT chair Ashley Rogers said: “These awards are important because they support community projects right across North Wales and it’s the communities themselves that decide where the money can best be spent.

 “A lot of what we fund is aimed at providing something for young people to get involved with in their spare time, activities that can help to build skills and positive physical and mental health.

 “We want to support communities so they are able to take responsibility for their own areas.

“Community groups and projects can do a great deal to make communities safer, reduce crime and reduce re-offending, it also sends a good message to the communities because it shows we are listening to them.

“The aim is to build up resilience in communities across North Wales to help vulnerable people and combat things like County Lines.”

For more information on the work of the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner go to https://www.northwales-pcc.gov.uk/en/home.aspx and for more on the North Wales Police and Community Trust go to https://www.pactnorthwales.co.uk/

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