WIDE-ranging efforts to make life safer in communities across North Yorkshire have won further cash backing.

County councillors have agreed to inject £70,000 into a campaign led by the seven Community Safety Partnerships in the county.

The partnerships were set up as a result of the Crime and Disorder Act and include local authorities, the police, probation service, health authority, the voluntary sector and local residents and businesses.

Their primary aim is to reduce crime and disorder in their area. The county council is a statutory partner in the scheme.

For the current financial year, each partnership will receive a set amount of £5,000 with a top-up determined by the population size of each district.

The move means each partnership will have more money to tackle community safety issues and the fear of crime within each area.

The county council's executive member with responsibility for community safety, Councillor Shelagh Marshall, said: "We are very supportive of any measures which will mean people feeling safer in their own homes. While people must be made aware of the dangers they face, they must also realise that a lot of help and support is available through our community partnership network."

Coun Marshall is also the county's official Older People's Champion, with the task of monitoring the progress being made towards meeting national standards such as age discrimination when providing and planning older people's services.

She said: "For people who live on their own and in their own home the fear of crime is very real.

"As a county council, we are very supportive of all the measures which are being taken to make people aware of problem areas."

Coun Marshall added: "In particular, we have given our support in terms of the trading standards initiative to try and stop salesmen who just turn up on someone's doorstep - cold calling. That is a very real safety threat."

Other issues being tackled include reducing the fear of crime by providing public reassurance, working with the police to help reduce the number of burglaries and thefts, and helping to reduce the amount of vehicle-related crime.