NEW neighbourhood watch scheme is being launched in Northallerton.

The group will be the first established in sheltered accommodation in the Hambleton district.

It follows a request from residents of the Broadacres Housing Association complex in Castle Close, who asked the local Community Safety Partnership for help tackling crime near their homes.

For the past two years, the town centre properties have been subjected to repeated doorstep crime as well as anti-social behaviour.

Now it is hoped that the new watch scheme will help the householders feel much safer.

Community safety officer PC Phil Bird said: "We will be educating them to act positively against crime and disorder issues and encouraging them to report all suspect incidents."

It is hoped that more Neighbourhood Watch schemes will be set up within Broadacres Housing Association properties.

Castle Close residents have also adopted the Partnership's Message in a Bottle scheme, in which members place vital personal information in a bottle which is stored in the fridge in case of emergencies.

To become involved in the Neighbourhood Watch programme, call PC Bird on (01609) 789827.

For further information on the Message in a Bottle scheme, call (01609) 767243.