A DECISION on who will benefit from a £500,000 crime reduction fund has been delayed because so many groups have applied.

Police and crime commissioner Nick Alston secured an extra £500,000 for community groups after a council tax rise.

Mr Alston said previously only 0.5 per cent of the policing budget went on crime prevention initiatives and he, with the support of the police and crime panel, had doubled that.

All groups funded last year are being funded this year – although in future years they will have to prove they are using the money well.

A spokesman from Mr Alston’s office said: “There has been an overwhelming response to the request for new initiative funds.

“We have received well over 100 applications with a total value of almost £2.5million.

“The process for the commissioner selecting the successful applicants is well under way, but, given the volume of applications, and the need to ensure that each proposal is treated fairly, the final decision will not be made until the end of June.”