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28 July, 2020

£500,000 to be invested in preventing crime in rural North Yorkshire

Over half a million pounds is to be invested in examining new ways of protecting a rural North Yorkshire community as part of the government’s Safer Streets Fund.

Julia Mulligan, the county’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, bid for the Home Office money. The £548,980 of Safer Streets funding awarded aims to prevent crime, put off criminals and protect homeowners, their homes and communities while building the evidence needed to strengthen the case for future investment in targeted crime prevention.

The community to benefit from the pilot project is 1,700 properties in the Whitley ward of Selby. As a rural area at the southern tip of North Yorkshire, it is particularly exposed to cross-border criminal activity.

For the most up to date information on this project visit ProtectYourHome.org.uk

One in five crimes in the area is burglary, double the county-wide average, with one in eight properties being targeted in the past three years.

Preventing burglary will be the scheme’s priority, but it should also help to counter the marked increase in poaching, hare coursing and trespass on farmland damaging crops and having a negative impact on the local economy.

While North Yorkshire Police have already been supporting the community, the aim of this scheme is to share best practice, invest in prevention measures and deter criminals from considering the area to be an easy one to target.

Among the measures to be supported as part of the Safer Streets Fund:

  • Providing prevention and security advice to all households to help them protect themselves
  • Providing security upgrades to vulnerable rear doors and windows, detached garages and sheds
  • Creating earth banks, known as bunds, and blocking gates around fields to stop criminals crossing them to get to the rear of properties.

Properties within the area will assessed and prioritised with the most vulnerable receiving more targeted support and all able to receive a range of home safety and security measures and advice.

North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce and local Neighbourhood Policing Team will lead the project and be in touch directly with residents in the coming weeks as the project gets underway. They will work with other partner agencies and organisations to provide home safety and security advice, undertake home and farm surveys and implement any crime prevention solutions. 

Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said:

“Burglary is a crime that all too often does not get the attention it deserves. The impact on individuals, families and communities is significant, which is why this investment in finding new approaches that make people safer and feel safer is so important.

“This Safer Streets funding allows us to try an innovative and targeted approach across Whitley ward, from Whitley to Womersley and the Smeatons. We will be supporting residents, implementing measures that make a difference and learning from that for further work across North Yorkshire.”

Assistant Chief Constable Annette Anderson, from North Yorkshire Police, said: 

“This substantial grant provides a unique opportunity to positively impact on the quality of life of those living in the Whitley ward. We look forward to building on our relationships with the local community and partners to implement the Safer Streets solutions.”

Crime and Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse said: 

“Persistent street crime and burglary have a corrosive effect on a neighbourhood, leaving people apprehensive about leaving their homes, and afraid of what they might encounter when they return.

“But simple modifications like better street lighting or CCTV can do a lot to prevent crime.

“So alongside more focussed thief-taking by the police, these projects should have a big impact on the communities hardest hit by burglars, robbers and villains in general.”

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