Horses and ponies at Wakefield Riding For The Disabled Association have been fed this winter with cash taken from convicted criminals.
The police and crime commissioner for West Yorkshire, Mark Burns-Williamson, visited the charity yesterday to launch his new Safer Communities Fund.
Last year Wakefield RDA, which is based at Pennine Community in Chapelthorpe, received £500 from the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
Carol Blake, Wakefield RDA yard manager, said: “As a charity we rely on grants and fundraising to meet our running costs. We used the POCA grant to help pay for hay to feed our horses and ponies which costs around £2,000 every year.”
The charity provides riding lessons for young people and adults with learning disabilities and also provides training qualifications in horse care.
The new Safer Communities Fund will pool all the POCA money into one single purse and allows charities like Wakefield RDA to apply for up to £10,000.
Mr Burns-Williamson said: “I have launched the Safer Communities Fund to bring together money seized from criminals across the county into a single community purse.
“I want to make it easier for local groups and organisations to receive money under the Proceeds of Crime Act and make a difference to the local communities.
“Thousands of pounds recovered from criminals will be made available in four bidding rounds per year.”
Mr Burns-Williamson has launched a campaign to change the way POCA cash is distributed around the UK.
He said: “Under current legislation, the government keeps half of the money seized from criminals in West Yorkshire.
“However, I want to see all of that returned to the county. This could potentially double the cash available within my Safer Communities Fund and help to keep people safe and feeling safe.
For more information about the POCA campaign, visit www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk