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"Churchwatch" launched in Hambleton & Richmondshire

Police in Hambleton and Richmondshire Safer Neighbourhood Command have launched a new initiative to protect religious buildings across the district.

Churchwatch was launched after a number of suspicious incidents at churches, chapels and other places of worship in the area over a number of years.

The scheme uses the Ringmaster system to quickly alert subscribers responsible for looking after churches to incidents or suspicious behaviour in other areas. This allows them to take action to prevent criminals taking advantage of the accessible nature of these buildings.

Churches, chapels and other places of worship are home to items of historical and monetary value which attract the attention of thieves intent on depriving local communities of their heritage.

“Due to many of them being in small villages or unattended most of the time, they can be vulnerable to crime.

“I am encouraging anyone connected with churches such as vicars, priests and church wardens to sign up to Ringmaster.

“If you notice anyone acting suspiciously near religious buildings to contact the police straight away so that we can send out alerts.”

– Angie Preston, Police Community Support Officer

To join the Ringmaster scheme please visitwww.nypcommunitymessaging.org

For more information about making places of worship more secure please either contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team or visit[www.northyorkshire.police.uk/

churchsecurity](http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/churchsecurity).

Council tax frozen in Hamleton

Hambleton’s council tax has been frozen for the fourth year running.

District Councillors have agreed not to impose a rise of £2.24 a year on householders. The increase will be funded by central government through a scheme which sees it picking up the costs of rises set below 2% - effectively freezing rates for taxpayers.

Without the freeze the District Council’s element of council tax would have been £91.72 a year for a Band D property - residents will actually be charged £89.48.

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"Fruit-cake" Hambleton meteorite is extremely rare

The Hambleton Meteorite is to be put up for auction after failing to sell three years ago.

The rock, said to look like piece of fruit cake, was discovered by Scottish-based meteorite hunter Rob Elliott and his wife Irene in North Yorkshire in 2005.

Mr Elliott, from Fife, explained that meteorites are always cut up as part of analysis to prove they are not earth rocks.

"When you cut up the Hambleton meteorite it resembles a fruit cake. The fruit in this case is semi-precious gemstones known as peridot crystals, and it's the only one of that type to be found in the UK."

– Rob Elliott

Hambleton meteorite for sale.

Part of a meteorite that looks "a bit like a fruit cake" and is thought to be the UK's most expensive rock from outer space is to be sold at auction.

The Hambleton meteorite is an extremely rare pallasite - a stony-iron meteorite - which is the only one of its kind to be found in the UK.

A 2,900g slice of the Hambleton rock has been valued between £7,000 and £10,000 ahead of its sale as lot 60 at Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh on Tuesday August 20.

EFFA to examine beef products

Anne McIntosh, MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey has announced that the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee will be examining the contamination of beef products sold in UK supermarkets later this month.

Following the discovery of equine and porcine DNA in a number of supermarket beef products, the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee will hold a public evidence session on contamination of beef products on Wednesday 30 January. The session is intended to focus on the effectiveness of traceability, labelling and hygiene standards in the food supply chain and the role of government, food processors and retailers.

– Anne McIntosh MP

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Dalepak in North Yorkshire

Dalepak's premises in Northallerton Credit: Calendar news

This is the meat processing plant in North Yorkshire which is at the centre of a food safety probe after beefburgers supplied to leading supermarkets were found to contain horsemeat.

Products from the Dalepak Hambleton plant in Northallerton and two other facilities in Ireland were investigated by a food safety watchdog. The burgers were on sale at Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Iceland and Dunnes Stores, but it is not known which plant supplied the contaminated meat.

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