OVER half a million pounds has been given by the Home Office to carry out a safer streets experiment in North Yorkshire to find ways of protecting rural communities.

The money is being spent on looking at how to prevent crime, put off criminals and protect homeowners and communities in areas particularly exposed to cross-border criminal incidents.

Julia Mulligan, the county's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner put forward the scheme for the pilot project on 1,700 properties in the Whitley area of Selby where one in five crimes are burglary, double the county average and one in eight properties have been targeted in the past three years.

Stopping burglaries will be the schemes priority but it will also look at how to stop increased poaching, hare coursing and trespass on farmland especially damage to crops

Ms Mulligan said: "This Safer Streets funding allows us to try an innovative and targeted approach across the 1,700 homes in the Whitley ward. We will be supporting residents, implementing measures that make a difference and learning from that for further work across North Yorkshire.