VILLAGERS in Ryedale have been urged to be on the look out for potential criminals posing as motorists crawling around roads with high priced properties.

Members of the Malton rural east community and police group were told at their latest meeting at Rillington by neighbourhood officer, PC Paul Fenwick, that most of the crime in Ryedale was being committed by travelling criminals from the North East, and South and West Yorkshire.

“Travelling criminals are often involved in burglary. The police response is to disrupt them by fining them for small matters such as dirty number plates, giving them the opportunity to search a car and check documents.”

He added that the criminals particularly targeted small, easily portable items.

“They look for nice villages with reasonably high priced properties. Break-ins are done in daylight not the middle of the night. The public can help by reporting cars seen crawling around streets or drivers sat in cars watching and comings and goings in a village.”

The group, which includes representatives of parish councils and the public, was told that Crime was up slightly in the Malton rural area but anti-social behaviour was down.