A DOZEN charities and groups across York and North Yorkshire are celebrating after they were chosen to receive a share from a pot of criminals’ cash.

Earlier this year, North Yorkshire Police launched the force’s annual Why Should They? campaign by making £25,000 available to groups and charities whose work helps prevent antisocial behaviour and crime. The money has been seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Now the force has announced which groups are to benefit from the 2012 cash windfall.

Ryedale Folk Museum has been awarded £2,920, Scarborough YMCA has gained £1,500, York Playspace – which works in deprived areas of York – has been awarded £3,000 for its chill-out zones and Selby Globe Community Cinema has got £2,000.

Children’s charity SELFA has received £2,000 for its holiday workshops, Grassington Playgrounds Association has been awarded £200 to improve playgrounds, and Jennyfield Styan Community Centre Management Committee in Harrogate will be able to use £2,628 to fund a two-day games console competition. Ripon Walled Garden Community – a charity that provides work placements and support to people with learning disabilities – has been awarded £2,840 and Scarborough Borough Children’s University has won £1,500.

The Fire Place, Stokesley “Animates” project – which was set up to reduce antisocial behaviour – has got £800, Hambleton and Richmondshire Community Addiction Service (HARCAS) has been awarded £3,000 and Marrick Priory Outdoor Education and Residential Centre has received £3,000.

Tim Madgwick, North Yorkshire’s temporary chief constable, said: “Once again we have seen some outstanding work going on in our communities for the benefit of local people.

“It’s very humbling to see how many people give up their own time to improve the quality of life for others. Each and every one of these organisations deserve every penny of their award.

“Our officers work tirelessly to deprive criminals of their illegally earned income and the ability to give some of it back to our communities is very rewarding for the force.”

The Proceeds of Crime Act enables police to take money from criminals when it has been obtained through criminal activity.

Since 2008, North Yorkshire Police’s financial investigation unit has confiscated more than £5.5 million in cash and assets.

The force is able to fund the Why Should They? community grants from the money it receives back from the Government which is a small portion of the amount confiscated by the force.

This is the third year in which North Yorkshire Police have funded community projects, with £74,000 being donated to 50 local groups or charities so far.